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New Jersey authorities work to stop designer drug sales, seize drugs

As discussed in a previous post, Governor Chris Christie recently signed a bill into law that bans the manufacture, distribution and possession of the designer drug known as bath salts. The drug is packaged like bath salts but is meant to mimic the effects of meth or cocaine through a combination of synthetic chemicals. Most chemical compounds used to create various versions of bath salts are now directly illegal under New Jersey law.

Law enforcement across the state has been busy this summer trying to rid the state of bath salts through the Safe Summer 2011 initiative. Throughout the summer the state Division of Consumer Affairs confiscated $75,000 worth of bath salts and synthetic marijuana, or K2 or similar fake pot products packaged as incense. Fake pot was made illegal by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration last March. Fake pot is also illegal to manufacture, distribute or posses in New Jersey.

The initiative aimed to confiscate designer drugs being sold in the state through undercover buys. The undercover buys occurred through visits to boardwalk shops and other shops known to be selling bath salts or fake pot. Some shop owners voluntarily gave products to the officers who found them in their shops.

According to The Star-Ledger, shop owners who refused to surrender designer drug products to authorities were arrested if they later sold them to undercover officers. Since June, three retailers have been arrested by New Jersey authorities.

The initiative this summer resulted in the confiscation of 3,000 packets of designer drugs. Near the beginning of August, authorities confiscated the greatest quantity of designer drugs in one swoop when they found 655 packets of fake pot and bath salts in one store. The designer drug products were valued at $16,000. The retailer was arrested.

Source: The Star-Ledger, "N.J. authorities confiscate $75K worth of designer drugs from retailers," James Queally, Aug. 17, 2011

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