GPD: Stronger Spice Laws Needed
The number of seizures in Gainesville related to smoking synthetic marijuana, known as spice, reached 29 Tuesday morning.
The Gainesville Police Department says it needs stronger laws to arrest those responsible for selling it.
According to the department, the state laws currently governing spice only ban certain specific compounds--which drug suppliers keep changing, frustrating law enforcement's efforts to arrest them.
Right now, GPD is pushing for change at the local level.
"We along with the Alachua County Drug Task Force are asking the city commission to come up with a city ordinance to ban all substances that are synthetic marijuana," said Ben Tobias, public information officer for GPD.
Sen. Rob Bradley (R-Fleming Island), who wrote the law banning spice two years ago, says the law allows the attorney general to create an emergency order banning new compounds that arise outside of the legislative session.
But he says a lab must identify the compound first before the attorney general can issue an order, which can take weeks.
Attorney General Pam Bondi released the following statement:
"Attorney General Pam Bondi fully supports the Gainesville Police Department's investigation into this matter and is dedicated to keeping dangerous synthetic drugs off of store shelves and out of the hands of Florida's youth. During the first half of 2013, 30 Floridians overdosed and died using these dangerous chemical compounds. All of these deaths were preventable and Attorney General Bondi continues to work with law enforcement and legislators in an effort to keep synthetic drugs from being sold and consumed in Florida."
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