Lake County leaders consider banning synthetic drugs



LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - Lake County commissioners discussed Tuesday the wording of a proposed ordinance that would ban all synthetic drugs.

The ordinance would make it illegal to advertise, sell or display synthetic drugs, including bath salts and synthetic marijuana. County leaders said they're aiming to crack down on the growing trend of synthetic drugs.

"It's a poison. I can't for the life of me think why anybody would put that in their body. But people are doing it," Commissioner Sean Parks said.

At a meeting Tuesday, commissioners took the first step towards outlawing the synthetic drugs, which are commonly sold in convenience stores and popular with a younger crowd. Synthetic marijuana is often sold in flashy packaging with catchy names.

"I've seen 'Scooby-Doo' on the front. So yeah, I'd consider that trying to get kids," resident Chuch Curry said.

Authorities said the makers of the synthetic drugs constantly change the formula to keep it legal, but the ordinance would treat all versions the same.

"Now, instead of sending it off to the FDLE lab to determine if it includes the banned list of chemicals or not, basically if it looks like synthetic marijuana, it is," Sgt. Jim Vachon with the Lake County Sheriff's Office said.

The ordinance is expected to go before the commission for a final vote in the near future.