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Daytona Beach considers measure to combat K-2, other synthetic drugs

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Daytona Beach city leaders are expected to vote on a new way to crack down on synthetic drugs.

The city is considering a measure to make selling or displaying any substance that mimics illegal drugs, like K-2, a code violation.

Many synthetic drugs have been outlawed, but manufacturers are constantly changing the chemical formulas to skirt the laws, authorities said.

"We've got synthetic heroin, synthetic marijuana, synthetic cocaine. It's already in Europe, and it's on the West Coast of the United States," said Daytona Beach Mayor Glenn Ritchey.

Ritchey said the city is looking at a new way to battle the problem.

Under the proposed measure, it would make it a code violation for anyone who sells or displays products that mimic the effects of banned substances like synthetic marijuana.

"It's a good first step. It's not the solution by a long shot, but it's a good first step," said Ritchey.

In August, federal agents raided a former post office building in Daytona Beach and arrested Ilan Fedida.

They said Fedida was manufacturing synthetic marijuana.

Some store owners in Daytona Beach who once sold synthetic marijuana said customers were hooked and often tried to steal it.

If the proposed ordinance is passed, anyone selling the stuff would face a $250 fine and fines up to $500 for subsequent offenses.

The mayor said his concern is the drugs are packaged to look harmless, but he said they could have dangerous side effects.

The proposed ordinance is set for a second reading and vote Wednesday night.

If passed, it would go into effect immediately.