Sarasota votes to ban synthetic drugs

February 12, 2014 

Sarasota sheriff's logo

SARASOTA — The Sarasota County Board of County Commissioners unanimously passed a designer drug ordinance Wednesday banning synthetic marijuana, bath salts and other items designed to mimic the impairing effects of controlled substances.

The commission banned the sale, possession and manufacturing of synthetic drugs designed to impair the user, which includes products intentionally misbranded, as in the case of synthetic marijuana, which is often labeled incense and “not intended for human consumption.” The ordinance also makes it illegal to misidentify or omit ingredients on product packaging.

“The Board of County Commissioners clearly understood the importance of banning these substances to protect our community,” said Sheriff Tom Knight. “There is no legitimate use for synthetic drugs and now we can safeguard our youth from their harmful effects.”

The Sarasota County ordinance fills the gap between products regulated as controlled substances and products regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. It also creates criminal and civil penalties for those who violate the ordinance.

Once the ordinance is officially recorded by the state of Florida, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office will enforce it, Knight said.

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