4

New Types of Synthetic "Cocaine" and "Marijuana" Challenge Florida Lawmakers

^
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

In the past few years, Florida lawmakers have passed laws banning synthetic compounds meant to mimic the effects of drugs like marijuana and cocaine, but chemists are staying one step ahead. In response to a law passed last year that outlawed a type of synthetic cocaine-like substance that was marketed as "bath salts," companies producing the product just slightly altered their formulations and began selling again. Now the state legislature is considering a law that would allow the state to stay ahead of the chemists.

Laws taking aim at the synthetic drugs haven't been too effective. Just last week CBS Miami found a synthetic form of cannabis being sold throughout South Florida as an incense. Synthetic "cocaine" sold as bath salts have also popped up back on the market.

"They're miles ahead. They're not just steps anymore," Chip Walls, a forensic toxicologist at the University of Miami, told the station. "Problem is, they're changing (ingredients) as fast as the government is putting them on a controlled substance list."

Today, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and several law enforcement officials announced their support of a bill that they believe would help the state stay ahead of the chemists.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Clay Ingram, says that several reports in his home district of teenagers getting into trouble with the drugs made him move on the measure. Three high schoolers in Charlotte County were hospitalized after overdosing on the drugs and another was restrained after chasing his father around the house with a machete while hallucinating, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

"The highs they saw with the kids were different than what they had seen before," Ingram said today at a press conference.


The new bill would ban several more substances and combinations of substances that chemists could use to mimic the effects.

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.