WUFT News

Bondi promises to continue fighting synthetic drugs

By on February 1st, 2013

Florida’s attorney general, Pam Bondi, assured constituents she will continue battling a fight on synthetic drugs at an event in Marion County Friday.

Synthetic drugs, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, are often sold in legal retail outlets as herbal incense or plant food and are seen in the form of bath salts and synthetic marijuana.

Bondi said she didn’t know about synthetic drugs when she first took office two years ago. The drug problem began in the Florida Panhandle and in a matter of months she saw it spread throughout the state, she said.

She said she wants to always be one step ahead in the fight. Since assuming office Bondi said she has banned more than 100 synthetic drug substances and will continue to ban these substances to combat the chemists that create these drugs.

Although she has banned many drugs, chemists, predominantly located in Asia, can change the compound of a drug to find a loophole and make a new drug that’s not considered illegal, she said.

The bans may lead to a significant rise in the prison population and possibly cost taxpayers, Marion County Sheriff Chris Blair said.

The synthetic drugs are marketed to children and young adults, Bondi said, and have kid friendly names like “Scooby-Doo” and “cotton candy.”

Bondi said the majority of synthetic-drug-related emergency room visits involve 12- to 29-year-olds, with the majority of those being 12 to 17 years old.

She urges parents to become involved and talk to their children and even search their backpacks if needed.

The battle with the chemists requires more than just banning substances. It requires giving more power to law enforcement to prevent these drugs from hitting the streets, said Lt. Butch Green of the Ocala Police Department.

Sgt. Angie Scroble, spokesman for the Ocala Police Department, said that one of the biggest dangers of these synthetic drugs is that the side effects are unknown because the compounds are constantly being changed.

“It’s very dangerous,” Scroble said. “The unknown usually is.”

She said she wants the public to be more aware because even parents can be fooled by the attractive packaging. The drugs are sometimes found next to energy drinks, she said.

Scoble said, “They think it’s okay just because it’s synthetic and it’s not real. It can do real harm.”

Jamie Bissell, a mechanic from Marion County, has seen many of his friends and their children become involved with the drugs.

He said the problem could be solved by having more inspections at ports where the drugs may be coming in.

Bondi was joined by Marion County and state officials, including Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn and Assistant State Attorney Bill Gladson. The meeting was held at the Marion County Sheriff’s Office and about 150 people attended.


This entry was posted in Florida and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Florida

Police Identify Shooter as FSU Alumnus

The gunman who shot three people at Florida State University’s library early Thursday before being killed by police was a lawyer who graduated from the school, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press.


Undated arrest photo of Chadwick Banks.

Chadwick Banks Executed By Lethal Injection For Double-Murder

Chadwick Banks became the 20th person executed under Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday. The 43-year-old was put to death after being convicted in the 1992 slaying of his wife, Cassandra Banks, as well as the rape and murder of his 10-year-old stepdaughter, Melody Cooper. Eighty-nine people have been put to death in Florida since executions resumed in the state in 1979.


Pastor Zach Zehnder of theCross Church in Mount Dora speaks to the crowd in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for world’s longest speech marathon. Zehnder ultimately spoke for more than 53 hours.

Mount Dora Pastor Attempts To Break Guinness World Record For Longest Speech

A Mount Dora pastor may have broken the Guinness World Record for the Longest Speech Marathon. The speech, which lasted over 53 hours, was used to raise money for a local cause.


(From left) Mitch Holeve celebrates Garrett "G-Money" Holeve's victory against David "Cerebral Assassin" on Saturday night. G-Money won by submission.

MMA Fighter G-Money Victorious Over Cerebral Assassin

Mixed martial artists Garrett “G-Money” Holeve and David “Cerebral Assasin” Steffan fought on Saturday in Sullivan, Missouri. G-Money defeated his opponent in their much anticipated bout by submission in the second round.


Garrett Holeve poses in the sunlight shining through a room full of punching bags at American Top Team in Weston. Florida on Oct. 19. Despite having Down syndrome, Garrett has proven himself to be a formidable opponent in mixed martial arts, or MMA. “You have to adjust a little bit, but you don’t want to go too easy on him either,” said John De Jesus, professional MMA fighter and occasional sparring partner for Garrett. “You can’t let him connect on you because he’ll knock you out!”

G-Money: In The Cage With Down Syndrome

Garrett “G” Holeve has Down syndrome, but his condition isn’t stopping him from pursuing his passion — mixed martial arts. G will face David Steffan on Nov. 8 in a long overdue fight against the odds.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments