Standing united, three sheriffs are sending a message to the community about the dangers of synthetic drugs marketed as “bath salts.”
“Multiple incidents of violence and confusion and hallucinations,” said Okaloosa County Sheriff, Larry Ashley.
This week, the attorney general filed an emergency rule making “balt salts” illegal. Bay, Walton and Okaloosa counties are ready to control the substance that is typically sold in milligram size doses.
“Folks don’t like us getting in their business, but when you come into our counties, it is our business if you’re going to hurt yourself or someone else. Unfortunately that’s our job,” said Bay County Sheriff Frank McKeithen.
To enforce the law, the sheriffs plan to take action against buyers, sellers and users; changing training tactics to adapt to the psycho-active drug with reactions likened to PCP.
“We’ve even got specialized training on how 7 people take control of a person, ‘you take his right leg, you take his left leg, you take his arm,’ it’s this hard to handle one of these people,” said McKeithen,.
They hope for voluntary compliance, but without it violators are headed to court.
“If individuals have possession of these drugs, after being told of it’s illegality, then they will be prosecuted,” said attorney, Bill Bishop.
While the emergency rule is as good as gold, it’s up to the legislature to determine future distinctions on the legality of “bath salts.”