Synthetic Narcotics- Georgia’s Growing Epidemic As if teaching our youth about the dangers of drugs isn’t hard enough, now we have company’s manufacturing a synthetic form of Marijuana, commonly referred to as “Spice” or “K-2”. These company’s target our youth by packaging it colorful, shiny packets and giving “cool” names like “magic monkey” or “purple passion”. They label these packages “herbal incense” and “not for human consumption” in an attempt to hide its intended use and avoid FDA regulations, yet for one package containing 5 grams it costs on average $15. 9-$21. 99. That’s pretty expensive for an “air freshener”. In 2011, 14. 4 percent of 12 graders admitted to experimenting with synthetic marijuana. Just last March, 16 year old honor student, and star soccer player from Fayette County, Ga. Chase Burnett died shortly after experimenting with this drug. This had law makers act quick and enact “Chases Law” , Georgia House Bill 370, which made this drug a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance and a felony to purchase, possess and distribute any form of this substance. Once this bill was signed by Gov.
Nathan Deal, it took about 24 hours for police agencies, mine being one, to conduct search warrants all over metro Atlanta to get this deadly drug off the shelves. Although now illegal, and rightfully so, there are many retail stores, smoke shops and gas stations that still sell the drug all over Georgia and around the Metro Atlanta area. As quick as officers take it off the shelves, it’s being replaced just as fast. Shop owners feel it’s a violation of their civil rights and use excuses like “we can’t control what customers do with what they buy” or they tell officers they didn’t know it was illegal, “it’s just incense”.
If they didn’t know it was illegal and didn’t think they were doing anything wrong, why do they keep it hidden behind the counter, out of sight and locked up? Why are they charging so much money for something that normally would cost about $2, if really used as an air freshener? These, as well as many more questions have been raised by not only Law Enforcement, but parents as well. As consumers, the best way to stop these shops and gas stations from selling this to our youth is stop buying your gas or any other items at these locations. It’s now and always will be about the money.
Once they see customers going across the street to get gas, they will get the hint. Another way businesses are being put on notice is letting them know that their business license will be revoked if caught selling these and any other illegal substances from their stores. With the new laws enacted and parents working together with Law Enforcement, we are starting to get a tighter grip on this fast growing epidemic that is plaguing are children. References Whitehouse. gov/ondcp http://georgia. gov/blog/2012-08-20/banning-synthetic-marijuana