It’s official: synthetic marijuana, bath salts and other synthetic drugs are banned in Baltimore. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake signed legislation enacting the ban on Thursday following passage of a bill by the City Council.
The new law makes it illegal distribute the synthetic drugs, enacts a $1,000 fine with the seizure of any packages and allows the Baltimore City Health Department to revoke licenses of retailers caught selling the products. The law also defines which substances fall under the synthetic drug umbrella. The DEA initially passed a law banning some synthetic drugs, but 250 similar products have surfaced since then, the city states.
The move comes amid a nationwide crackdown on synthetic drugs, which are sometimes marketed as natural alternatives like potpourri and herbal incense. Locally, officials say they have observed an uptick in ER visits for people overdosing on the drugs.
“Thanks to this new law, we will be able to go after those who try to sell these illegal substances in our city and keep synthetic drugs out of our communities,” Rawlings-Blake said in a statement.
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