In Pasco County, commissioners are hoping to finally put an end to the sale of synthetic drugs. They are looking to make certain types of packaging illegal.
That's important, because until now the people making these drugs simply have changed the formula as soon as any law restricting a particular substance comes out.
This ordinance is broader and comes with the potential for lots of fines.
"They're branding it as an incense, but we know they're trying to sell it as human consumption, as a drug for their kids," said Sheriff Chris Nocco.
Under the proposed law, if it's branded as potpourri, but it's really synthetic pot inside, there's a fine for each packet found at any store in Pasco County.
"These convenience store owners that are selling this product. We're able to go after them for the packages, and we're going to hit them hard because there's going to be a $500 fine for each package they have," Nocco said.
It adds up: imagine a convenience store and all the gum that's sold on the racks. It's not uncommon for some businesses to offer that many packages of synthetic drugs.
"We've hit places that have had thousands of packages," Nocco said.
The law is one of the first of its kind anywhere. The Pasco County Commission gave initial approval to the new law. A public hearing is set on November 7th before the final vote.
That's good news to Mark Abbott.
"Kids went into comas over this spice," he said.
Abbott wants to see the law passed next month.
"This is the kind of tool that we need because this game needs to come to an end," he said.
The sheriff's office needs citizen help for that to happen, looking out for products with unusual labels.
"It may be a dwarf that looks like he's high. It may be bugs bunny. It may be another cartoon character. but what we want people to do is to realize that anything that look out of the ordinary that's being sold in a convenience store, please let us know immediately," Nocco said.
This ordinance also makes it illegal for drug paraphernalia to be sold around minors, things like bongs and pipes. If a gas station sells them it would make it illegal to allow anyone inside under 18 without an adult.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
Didn't find what you were looking for?