State's ban on synthetic drugs starts Wednesday

From staff reportsMay 30, 2011 

North Carolina will join a wave of other states opting to ban synthetic drugs sold under the guise of seemingly innocent products like bath salts and incense.

The products include synthetic cannabinoids or a synthetic cocaine. In March, the Governor signed a bill that makes the sale, manufacture or possession of these products a felony in the state, effective Wednesday, June 1.

The products, generally sold over the internet and in tobacco shops, come under many different labels and forms and there is much uncertainty about their possible side affects.

The Carolinas Poison Center reported receiving more calls regarding the synthetic cocaine product during the first two months of 2011, than the total number of calls regarding the product in all of 2010. The Fayetteville Observer reported last week there were 254 reports of "bath salt" overdoses to the Center this year.

In March, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration issued an emergency ban on five synthetic cannabinoids, temporarily classifying them as schedule I drugs, or controlled substances, for the next year. The actions being taken by North Carolina and nearly 30 other states is a move to improve state enforcement of the national ban.

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