Florida's Synthetic Drug Ban Is Actually Working

Ever since state-wide and municipal level bans on the sale of synthetic drugs went into effect reports of people getting sick from ingesting things like "bath salts" and "K2" are significantly down in South Florida.

According to the Sun-Sentinel, calls to Poison Control regarding the substances are significantly down. There were 517 calls in 2011 statewide, 537 in 2012, but just 107 in the first seven months of this year.

Only seven of those calls came from Miami-Dade County. Forty-five calls from Dade were made last year.

"I think we can claim some major successes," Jim Hall, a researcher at Nova Southeastern University, told the paper. "Not victory. But successes. The local retail bans did have an effect. It didn't solve the problem. But it did win a few battles."

Though, there are reports that some stores continue to sell to regular costumers and keep the goods hidden behind the counter. Users can also try to buy the supposedly synthetic marijuana and cocaine-like substances online, but many sites no longer ship to Florida.

Sweetwater was the first city in the state to specifically outlaw the sale of synthetic marijuana. After the "Miami Zombie" incident, which may or may not have involved synthetic drugs, other municipalities, including Miami-Dade, followed suit. Stricter state laws have also gone into effect. Though it seems regular users may still be able to find ways around the bans to get their fix, overall use of the drugs are down.

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Kyle Munzenrieder