PALMDALE – Beginning June 7, the City of Palmdale will begin enforcement of a new City ordinance and will severely crack down on the sale, distribution and possession of illegal synthetic drugs, city officials announced Tuesday.
“Our ordinance will deal with some of the shortfalls in state law and help law enforcement in their efforts to stop the marketing, sale and possession of these dangerous and potentially deadly drugs in our City,” said Assistant City Attorney Noel Doran.
Often marketed as potpourri, bath salts, window cleaner, plant food and other deceptive products, synthetic drugs have gained popularity among teenagers and young adults. Synthetic drugs include synthetic cannabinoids, which are man-made chemicals that are applied onto plant material and designed to mimic Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive active ingredient in marijuana; and synthetic cathinones, which are man-made chemicals related to amphetamines.
“These drugs are being marketed to avoid detection,” Doran said. “We’ve seen items sold as potpourri without scent and ‘window cleaner’ that doesn’t clean windows. The product’s names and look often reference illicit drugs, and the prices of these products are often way out of line with similar products. This new ordinance will assist law enforcement if removing these dangerous drugs from stores in our City.”
The ordinance was unanimously approved by the Palmdale City Council on May 7.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the intervention we’re taking to prevent the tragedy that results from drug activity,” said Palmdale Mayor Pro Tem Tom Lackey.
“I have 37 years in the fire service and EMS and I’ve seen what this stuff does to kids,” said Councilmember Steve Hofbauer.
According to the 2012 Monitoring the Future survey of youth drug-use trends, one in nine 12th graders in America reported using synthetic cannabinoids in the past year and synthetic cannabinoids are the second most frequently used illegal drug among high school seniors (after marijuana).
Use of synthetic cannabinoids and synthetic cathinones has been shown to cause several serious side-effects such as hallucinations, agitation, psychosis, aggression, suicidal and homicidal ideations, and death.
(Information via press release from the city of Palmdale.)