Board taking steps toward outlawing "bath salts," herbal incense - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Board taking steps toward outlawing "bath salts," herbal incense

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - In an effort to stop the sale of mind-altering chemicals marketed as bath salts or herbal incense, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors Tuesday tentatively approved an ordinance declaring them a public nuisance and making stores that sell them in unincorporated areas subject to civil abatement actions.

The board also voted 5-0 to support of legislation aimed at outlawing the products.

"Combining these two measures will put San Diego County at the forefront of the efforts to combat what is a growing and dangerous problem facing our society," Supervisor Greg Cox said.

Some bath salts contain amphetamine-like chemicals.

Man-made cannabinoids -- the class of psychoactive compounds in marijuana -- are used in products sold as K2, spice, or herbal incense and typically sold online, in liquor stores or smoke shops.

"We have seen an increase in the use among our children. It's being marketed to them in a way that they don't quite understand and the types of behavior we see are violent. They are psychotic and they are something that none of these teenagers really can anticipate," said District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis.

The ordinance, to be voted on April 3, would declare it a public nuisance for anyone to distribute or sell the products. It would also make it a public nuisance to possess the products when it injuriously affects the heath, safety, welfare or comfortable enjoyment of life or property of someone other than the person in possession.

Cox said the ordinance would give the county "another weapon to quickly shut down anyone who tries to provide or sell these drugs."

The board also agreed to support Assembly Bill 2420 by Assemblyman Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, who wants to outlaw the stuff.

"This legislation closes a loophole in already existing state laws that bans the sale of these drugs," Cox said.

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