St. Petersburg Mayor calls for synthetic drug ban - WFLA News Channel 8

St. Petersburg Mayor calls for synthetic drug ban

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Individuals invited News Channel 8 cameras to film them smoking what they said were cigarettes filled with Spice. Individuals invited News Channel 8 cameras to film them smoking what they said were cigarettes filled with Spice.
ST. PETERSBURG, FL (WFLA) -

It is made to mimic illegal drugs, but it's for sale on many store shelves. Pasco and Hillsborough counties have already banned synthetic drug products like Spice and K2. Now, the Mayor of St. Petersburg wants to follow their lead.

"We're going to do everything we can to discourage the sale and distribution in the city of St. Petersburg," said Mayor Bill Foster.

Several homeless people gathered in St. Petersburg's Williams Park Thursday night and smoked cigarettes they said were filled with Spice. They had no reluctance to smoke them in front of a News Channel 8 camera.

"It does mellow people out, but it does mess people up in the same process. So you have to watch out who gets it," said Geno Langford, who told News Channel 8 he's purchased synthetic drug products from a local store.

Mayor Bill Foster said St. Petersburg Police have had problems with people in the park who are high on synthetic drug products.

"I have a police officer who is 6'10" and just a mountain of a man and nobody in their right mind would try to fight this guy, but when you're hyped up on Spice people are wanting to fight this guy," said Foster.

Mayor Foster said existing state laws ban synthetic drugs products made with certain formulas.

"You're always going to have really smart chemists change the formula to skirt the law. So we've followed Pasco and Hillsborough counties," said Foster.

Those counties have recently passed ordinances, which ban the sale and distribution of all synthetic drug products. Foster said his proposal would do the same in the city of St. Petersburg. People caught selling or possessing the products would face fines or jail time under the proposed ordinance.

Foster said he hopes the ordinance will be drafted in time for the next St. Petersburg City Council meeting on March 7th.

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