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State lawmakers considering blanket ban on synthetic drugs

A few weeks back, our blog spent some time discussing how state law enforcement officials were becoming increasingly concerned over the spread of the synthetic drug known as flakka, which has been linked to over 60 deaths in Broward County alone.

To recap, flakka is a synthetic hallucinogen produced overseas that can be easily purchased for a reasonable price over the Internet. Also known as gravel, it has been linked to a host of serious and often fatal medical complications, including seizures, elevated heart rate and erratic behavior.

Flakka is not the first synthetic drug to show up on the radar of law enforcement and state lawmakers. In an effort to combat the proliferation of synthetic marijuana or spice, the state actually started outlawing specific chemical compounds used to make this and other drugs back in 2012.

While as many as 136 chemical compounds -- including alpha-PVP, the primary ingredient in flakka -- have been banned to date, those behind the production of synthetic drugs have managed to stay one-step ahead of law enforcement by simply altering the chemical composition in order to make it technically legal.

Frustrated by this reality, both Attorney General Pam Bondi and state lawmakers have now taken definitive action by filing Senate Bill 1528, otherwise known as the Florida Designer Drug Enforcement Act.

If passed, this bill would simply prohibit any and all forms of synthetic drugs, meaning law enforcement would have carte blanche to go after not just those who sell synthetic drugs like flakka or spice, but those caught using it as well.

It remains to be seen whether the Designer Drug Enforcement Act will gain the necessary traction during the current legislative session and, if so, whether the final version will prove to be unduly punitive.

Stay tuned for updates ...

At the Law Offices of Horwitz & Citro, P.A., we provide dedicated advocacy to those facing drug crime charges. Rest assured, we will always conduct a comprehensive investigation designed to determine everything from whether police engaged in any improper procedures when gathering evidence or whether pre-trial diversion programs are a viable option.