Would SB23 help law enforcement combat some of the drug use and sale?
Yes, it would make nearly all these chemicals illegal. It would be more of a deterrent for people to use, make, sell, etc...and local shops would no longer be able to sell these products to our kids and young adults.
A number of people would like to know the demographics of users.
Correct, the law would put these substances into a controlled substance category, which would make them a felony to possess, where marijuana is a misdemeanor.
Teenagers and young adults are the largest age group using these.
We don't see it in the Middle Schools often, mainly high schools and people in their 20's. But many middle school kids know something about these drugs.
Yes, they can as of recently. However, most of the shops had their products seized by law enforcement a couple weeks ago. I'm not sure if the stores have re-stocked since then.
This is a common age category for any type of drug use, whether marijuana, prescription drugs, etc...
Many of the drug evaluations I've conducted, people admit that they started using marijuana between the ages of 13-18. This is a vital time to educate kids about drug use.
Five synthetic cannabinoids are illegal already, but when one is made illegal, they use another one. There are hundreds of different synthetic cannabinoids on the market, making it difficult to make it all illegal.
There was a 46 year old female that died at the hospital and had bath salts in her system. Not sure if it was the cause of death, but good possibility.
From our Opinion Editor Randy Rasmussen:
It seems to me that if it's legal to sell the synthetics, using deceptive marketing tactics, that it's an education problem. Youth and adults need to become aware of the dangers of ingesting synthetic drugs. What is being done to educate youth about the dangers of synthetic drugs?
We have not had any reports of deaths here to my knowledge, but many ER visits and numerours calls to poisoin control centers.
Calls to poison control about synthetic marijuana
2010 - 3 calls
2011 through November - 27 calls
2010 - 2,906
2011 - 6,955
Calls to poison control about synthetic drugs known as "bath salts"
2010 - 0
2011 - 21
2010 - 303
2011 - 6,072
I have given numerous presentations, several to students at South Middle School. I will continue presenting to groups to educate kids and parents about this topic. People need to understand that these chemicals are not safe.
LisaG and MomOfFive have questions along the same lines.
Thanks for putting those stats up. They say a lot.
The DARE program is still active, but not in Rapid City. This is something our department puts on the liaisons as far as getting into the classrooms and getting information to kids. I've been in several classes this year, particularly at the middle school level.
MomOfFive: I do know that Lifeways is planning another forum similar to last weeks in March.
There is lots of information on the internet and we are planning a workshop or conference in the spring that will be sponsored by Lifeways. If you live in the northern hills, the Spearfish police department has a great resource on these drugs.
Parent of 2 has another question about education.
Lifeways has some pamphlets they put together on these drugs.
No, many of these kids already know about these drugs through friends, older siblings, etc...If they thing it's legal, they also think it's safe. I think it's important to educate them on how dangerous these chemicals are and use examples about other kids that have had serious side effects or even died.
A number of comments are wanting to know how it is used and what form it comes in and how it is tested.
That is something I will speak with our media specialist about, as far as the PSA's. That is a great idea.