RALEIGH, NC (WECT/AP) – As of June 1, it's illegal in North Carolina to sell, manufacture or possess synthetic forms of marijuana or cocaine, also known as spice and bath salts. The synthetic drugs mimic the effects of marijuana and cocaine.
Officials say one of the ingredients in bath salts was responsible for the deaths of two North Carolina State University students in October 2010.
The Youth Advocacy and Involvement Office of the NC Department of Administration was part of a team of advocates that work to draft and pass the legislation Gov. Bev Perdue signed into law March 25. NC joins at least 28 states that have banned one or more of these substances.
"These drugs were sold legally and may have appeared to be innocent since they were packaged as incense, bath salts, or plant food, and were easily purchased in stores," said Stephanie Nantz, YAIO Executive Director. "But they have caused harm and death among youth in North Carolina and across the country. Anyone who has such products, or sells them, should get dispose of them."
Under the new law, ingredients in bath salts are Schedule I controlled substances, meaning they have a high potential for abuse. Spice chemicals will be classified as having a low potential for abuse.
A spokeswoman for the Jacksonville Police Department says officers have advised businesses to expect strict enforcement of the new law.
According to the YAIO, the use of synthetic drugs has quickly increased in the state. The Carolinas Poison Center reported as many calls on MDPV in the first two months of 2011 as in all of 2010 combines.
Copyright 2011 WECT. All rights reserved. AP contributed to this report.
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