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Updated: 12/12/2013 01:48:59PM

Sarasota moves toward synthetic drug ban

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SARASOTA COUNTY — Sarasota County took a big step Wednesday toward the ban of synthetic drugs known as “K2,” “Spice” and “Kratom,” after commissioners unanimously approved holding a public hearing in February 2014 to adopt a ban on designer drugs.

The ordinance would ban the substances — many mimicking the look of marijuana — outright in the county. Mel Thomas, a planner with the county’s Health and Human Services department, said Wednesday that the American Association of Poison Control is calling synthetic drug use a risk to the public’s health and a hazard to public safety. Reports of the drugs first surfaced in the United States in 2008.

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