Like most of the United States, the sleepy little burg where I work has seen an influx of synthetic drugs marketed as "bath salts" or the marijuana like potpourri also known as "Spice". We've also seen a number of cases of bizarre mental health episodes that are likely caused by people ingesting these substances.
Many times these substances are being sold in convenience stores and bodegas and not by street dealers who deal in cocaine, marijuana and other illegal drugs. In the past year or two we've seen new laws enacted to combat these substances. Now that laws are in place, we're seeing law enforcement starting to crack down on people selling these drugs.
The Pennsylvania news outlet WPH TV had a story about a federal law enforcement operation named Operation Rubber Ducky which cracked down on persons trafficking these substances.
United States Attorney Peter J. Smith announced that the indictment was returned by the grand jury on April 4, 2012 but was kept under seal to allow law enforcement agencies to arrest those indicted, to execute eight search warrants simultaneously in multiple locations and to coordinate the seizure of over $6 million dollars of suspected drug-related funds in banks in Maryland and Texas.
$6 million dollars is some pretty serious profit for something you put in your bathtub and is a lot more like something you'd expect from a cocaine kingpin. Federal involvement in prosecuting these people is a good sign that folks are starting to get serious about the dangers posed by these substances.
Does your jurisdiction have laws prohibiting these substances? If so, is your agency beginning to enforce them?