News, Jazz, NPR
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Courts / Law

Sarasota County Passes Designer Drug Ordinance


The Sarasota County Board of County Commissioners today unanimously passed an ordinance banning certain designer drugs. It bans products such as synthetic marijuana, bath salts and other items designed to mimic the impairing effects of controlled substances.

In a vote of 5-0, the commission banned the sale, possession and manufacturing of synthetic drugs that are designed to impair the user. This includes products that are intentionally misbranded, as in the case of synthetic marijuana which is often labeled as "incense" and "not intended for human consumption." The ordinance also makes it illegal to misidentify or omit ingredients on product packaging.

In a prepared statement, Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight said, "The Board of County Commissioners clearly understood the importance of banning these substances to protect our community. "There is no legitimate use for synthetic drugs and now we can safeguard our youth from their harmful effects."

The Sarasota County ordinance fills the gap between products regulated as controlled substances and products regulated by the federal Food and Drug Administration. It also creates criminal and civil penalties for those who violate the ordinance.

WUSF 89.7 depends on donors for the funding it takes to provide you the most trusted source of news and information here in town, across our state, and around the world. Support WUSF now by giving monthly, or make a one-time donation online at