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Published On: Tue, Aug 7th, 2012

Pinellas plans to act swiftly to ban bath salts and some herbal incense products

In the struggle against synthetic marijuana, Pinellas County officials are seeking to ban the sale of bath salts and certain herbal incense products.

photo/mdha.org.au (edited)

The proposed ordinance is an attempt to close the loophole created when Florida banned more than 90 chemicals used in synthetic marijuana. County officials said that by the time those products were off the shelves, drug makers had already adapted by concocting new, legal cocktails that are as dangerous as their predecessors.

“What we want to do is make sure that we took the opportunity to close those gaps to ensure those things don’t come growing back,” said Tim Burns, the county’s director of Justice and Consumer Services.

The moment you start to regulate one of them, they’ll come out with a variant that sometimes is even more potent,” said Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse after the ban in July.

Additionally a five-person committee will be created to review new products setting up future bans as well. Tuesday the Pinellas County Board of Commissioners will vote on whether to hold a public hearing on the proposed regulations.

Leo Calzadilla, owner of three tobacco shops in Pinellas County, plans to protest the ordinance. When state law banned a variety of products, he changed what he sold, he said. But the race to pass new ordinances and outfox manufacturers seems pointless to him, as well as bad for business.

“Herbal incense is sold as herbal incense,” he said. “That’s what it’s intended for. … What people do with it is their prerogative.”

Authorities content that manufacturers know that teenagers buy their products intending to smoke or ingest them, he said. The drugs can cause extreme euphoria, as well as hallucinations and seizures. And there have been several high-profile instances in which teenagers died or were injured while under the influence of those substances.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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