Press Release: Rep. Clay Ingram (R-Pensacola) filed House Bill 619, which bans a group of synthetic cannabinoids and substitute cathinones, commonly known as “spice,” “K2” or “bath salts.” Marketed as legal alternatives to illicit drugs like cocaine and marijuana, these toxic compounds can cause extreme side effects including paranoia, hallucinations, seizures and psychotic episodes.
“Florida is facing a growing epidemic with these types of synthetic substances,” said Rep. Ingram. “They’re marketed under harmless-sounding names designed to intentionally target children, but these are incredibly dangerous drugs that jeopardize people’s lives.”
Prior legislation, passed in 2011, banned certain types of synthetic drugs in Florida, but chemists have begun developing new compounds not covered by existing law. In response, Attorney General Pam Bondi signed an emergency rule in December that temporarily made a new set of 22 synthetic drugs illegal. In conjunction with a Senate Bill filed last month by Sen. Rob Bradley (R-Orange Park), HB 619 will make that ban permanent, as well as make possession of the newly-banned substances punishable by up to a year in jail. Individuals who sell or manufacture the drugs may be charged with a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in jail.
“Chemists are creating new compounds to try and skirt the law,” Ingram continued. “Attorney General Bondi took an important step in issuing an emergency rule, and I look forward to working with Sen. Bradley to provide the necessary legislative support to make that rule permanent and keep our citizens, and especially our children, safe from these toxic drugs.”