“Spice” Bill Unanimously Passes Florida House
April 18, 2013
Wednesday, the Florida House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill which bans 27 synthetic drugs commonly known as “spice,” “K2” or “bath salts.” Previously marketed as legal alternatives to illicit drugs like cocaine and marijuana, these compounds can cause extreme side effects including paranoia, hallucinations, seizures and psychotic episodes.
“Synthetic drugs are a major problem for children and young adults across the country, and that’s why I’m proud to have sponsored a bill that keeps these toxic compounds out of Florida stores and off our streets,” said Rep. Clay Ingram (R-Pensacola), who sponsored HB 619. “I constantly hear from parents, physicians and law enforcement officials who have personally witnessed the devastating effects of drugs like ‘spice’ and ‘bath salts’.”
“Synthetic drugs are destroying the lives of Floridians, particularly our youth, and it is critical that we remove these deadly substances from store shelves,” said Attorney General Pam Bondi. “I applaud Representative Ingram for his support of this important public safety legislation.”
Although the Florida legislature outlawed a group of synthetic drugs in 2011, chemists – who often operate from overseas labs – have begun to alter their chemical formulas in an effort to skirt existing law.
In response, Bondi issued a temporary order last December that banned an additional group of synthetic substances; the bill approved Wednesday formalizes that emergency order — adding 27 compounds to Schedule I of the controlled substances statute — and makes it a third-degree felony for an individual to “sell, manufacture, or deliver, or possess with intent to sell, manufacture or deliver” the newly-banned substances.
SB 294 unanimously passed the Florida Senate on April 4, 2013 and will now be considered by Governor Rick Scott.