SAN DIEGO–District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore are sending letters to nearly 100 businesses in the county, warning they could face criminal or civil penalties if they don‟t follow a new state law banning the sale of synthetic drugs, including an increasingly popular and dangerous drug commonly known as „bath salts.‟
“We‟re taking this action to let businesses know about the new law and penalties they could face,” Dumanis said. “More importantly, we want to be proactive to let San Diegans know how dangerous these drugs can be. „Bath salts‟ in particular have been linked to an alarming number of calls to poison control centers and scary emergency room visits.”
The first wave of letters is being mailed today to mini-marts, convenience stores and other businesses that have been known to sell „bath salts.‟ The letters inform store owners about the new law and explain that failure to comply with the law could result in criminal prosecution or a civil enforcement action. Potential sanctions include fines and imprisonment or permanent injunctions and substantial civil penalties.
“One of our concerns surrounding the use of these designer drugs is the inherent innocence in their names,” Sheriff Bill Gore said. “Make no mistake: these are toxic substances that can and have resulted in death. Our goal in sending this letter and holding this news event is to educate parents, businesses and the public on the dangers of ‘spice’ and ‘bath salts.'”
“We are taking this new threat to our children seriously,” said Supervisor Greg Cox. “That‟s why I will soon partner with the District Attorney and the Sheriff to seek a civil abatement ordinance that will allow us to target those in the unincorporated area who sell or provide these dangerous drugs to our children.”
Assembly Bill 486, authored by Assemblyman Ben Hueso, went into effect October 9, 2011 and makes it illegal to sell, dispense, distribute, furnish, administer or possess for sale synthetic