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Vomiting, increased heart rate, seizures.
Those are some of the side effects of smoking synthetic marijuana — a “legal” drug that is sweeping the nation, particularly among the youth.
But after the Palm Coast City Council agreed in consensus Tuesday to pass an ordinance banning the display, sale and distribution of synthetic herbal incense and bath salt products, officials hope to put a stop to the fad.
“Now is the time to take action,” Cpl. Don Apperson, of the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, said during Tuesday’s workshop. “Let’s be proactive and not reactive. Let’s make a preemptive strike before this becomes an epidemic in our community.”
Synthetic marijuana is a psychoactive designer drug derived of natural herbs — sprayed with synthetic chemicals — that, when consumed, allegedly mimics the pleasurable effects of marijuana.
The “fake” drug, which is commonly referred to as incense and is consumed by being smoked, is sold at convenience stores, gas stations and tobacco shops. Often times dubbed Mr. Happy, Mad Hatter or Cool Beanz, the product is sold in 1- to 3-ounce packages for about $20 to $30.
Although the package states that it should not be sold to anyone under the age of 18, Apperson said there is no legal mechanism that says the prospective buyer must be 18 or older.
According to Apperson, side effects can linger for six weeks to six months.
“Our children are turning themselves into scientific experiments,” he said.
The citywide ban would be a civil (code enforcement) ban because it’s still not deemed illegal at the state or federal levels. Instead, businesses selling the product would be fined $300 each day the item remains on shelves. The fine is the most severe penalty allowed under city code, according to City Manager Jim Landon.
Two juniors from Flagler Palm Coast High School, who are actively working on a project for the Community Problem Solvers, are hoping to help bring awareness to the effects of synthetic cannabis.
The project, titled “Project Anonymous,” was presented under the condition of anonymity.
“It is not a joke," one student said. "This is something that needs to be addressed in this city, and I believe this ordinance will greatly reduce the problem."
Landon said on Tuesday that other Flagler County municipalities are working on similar ordinances.
The City Council will formally vote on the ordinance at its next regular meeting, which will be 9 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18, at the Community Center, 305 Palm Coast Parkway N.E.
Currently 1 Response
- Getting both the bath salts and weird incense off the shelves is a good thing. No need to give pot a bad name in the process.
Recently saw a documentary made here in Florida, "Should Grandma Smoke Pot?" which makes one wonder why acetaminophen, which has become the leading cause of liver failure, are freely available on the shelves, while a plant that give relief from pain and blocks the spread of Cancer is illegal.
Perhaps a similar law should be passed to get acetaminophen off the shelves.
26 Pet Shot Clinic
9:00 am - 10:30 am
26 Pet Shot Clinic
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
26 Pet Shot Clinic
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
27 Memorial Day Event
Cuddle up: Moose lodges donate dolls for children
This spring, Palm Coast Moose Lodge 2577 donated a box of 12 Tommy Moose dolls to bring comfort to children in times of stress, uncertainty or anxiety.
High School students donate to breast cancer patients
The Flagler Palm Coast High School Future Business Leaders of America class donated $580 to Florida Hospital Flagler Foundation’s breast cancer fund, which provides screening mammograms, diagnostic studies and education to local qualified women who are uninsured and seeking assistance.
Florida Hospital Flagler gives $2,000 in scholarships
Florida Hospital Flagler's medical staff donated $2,000 in scholarships to four graduating high school students.