State laws working to keep down synthetic drug use

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — First it was “Spice.” Then it was bath salts. Now some folks are using what is advertised as a lady bug attractant to get high. But how easy is it to get your hands on the new synthetic drug “Amped” here in the Cape Fear?

“It takes that extra time for legislation to catch up with the ingenuity of the criminal mind,” Wilmington Police Department spokesman Det. Kevin Smith said.

On to the next one. That’s what police say some substance abusers are doing once legal substances are banned. But it’s not that easy to find the “party powders” in Wilmington.

Since legislation passed lasted year, designer drugs, like bath salts, have been outlawed in the state. Many stores that used to sell the products have closed up shop. Of the six stores we visited last summer while reporting on bath salts, only one is still open and does not have any powders for sale.

“They try and get as much out of it as they can in the shortest amount of time, and then once it’s regulated, they just close up,” Smith said.

Although some synthetic drugs are illegal in North Carolina, they are not banned in other states and are for sale online. Smith says users should know, though, that if they purchase the drugs on the web, they will be flagged by the police department.

“If you have this stuff, number one, it’s extremely dangerous to use,” Smith said. “Number two, if you’re found in possession of it, you’re going to face strict penalties under the laws.”

Smith says North Carolina is pretty progressive in its laws and is leading the way for the rest of the country. He says the DEA is working to make new laws that would be enforceable nationwide.

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