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SLO County bans synthetic drugs

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There’s nothing nice about spice.

At least that’s what local law enforcement has been saying.

On Feb. 2, SLO County Sheriff Ian Parkinson asked the Board of Supervisors to ban the sale of synthetic drugs, including those commonly known as spice, which resembles synthetic marijuana, and bath salts, which are said to mimic the effects of methamphetamines.

“We’ve had one set example of tragedy as a result of using synthetic drugs,” Parkinson said, referring to a fatal accident in which a truck rolled over, ejecting the passengers and killing a toddler and his 17-year-old uncle. It was reported that the driver of the truck was under the influence of spice, and was returning from a trip to get more.

Manufacturers of the drugs manage to sidestep federal and state laws by constantly altering the chemical makeup of the substances, which, in turn, makes it difficult to truly know what’s in them or how they will affect the human brain. Synthetic drugs are commonly available at liquor stores and head shops.

Most, if not all, cities in SLO County have enacted similar bans. Law enforcement officials list several incidents in their respective cities where they’ve responded to people under the influence of synthetic drugs who were demonstrating violent behavior.

Supervisors wholeheartedly embraced Parkinson’s recommendation and unanimously passed the ban.

-- Melody DeMeritt - former city council member, Morro Bay

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