Who: Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office , Patrol Operations Bureau, Narcotics Investigation Division
What: Starting Monday, July 2nd, Pinellas deputies will call on managers and owners of Pinellas convenience stores and other retailers. They will deliver a signed notice from Sheriff Bob Gualtieri recommending compliance with new state law which bans the possession and sale of those chemicals found in “synthetic marijuana” – commonly known as “Spice”, “K-2”, “Incense” and “Loose Leaf Incense”.
According to Sheriff Gualtieri, “The notices are designed to educate our retailers about the new law, to encourage compliance and to answer any questions. Deputies will then conduct subsequent checks for these products to ensure that these illegal items are not made available to the public.”
At 10:00 a.m., Monday, July 2nd, there will be a briefing on synthetic marijuana for the media conducted by Narcotics Sergeant Dan Zsido, followed by an opportunity for the media to follow a deputy sheriff making these notifications at local convenience stores.
When: A 10:00 a.m. synthetic marijuana briefing conducted by Narcotics Sergeant Dan Zsido.
Where: The Sheriff’s Administration Building, Public Information Office, 10750 Ulmerton Rd.
Why/How: These chemicals listed in the statute, which are commonly found in these incense products, are now classified as controlled substances. As outlined in Florida State Statute 893.03 and 893.13, it is now a third degree felony to possess or sell these chemicals.
The notice reads in part that legislation was passed this past session deeming “these synthetic substances to be a significant threat to the health and public safety (of citizens) within the State of Florida.”
The notice also identifies the short term and more serious side effects associated with these chemical combinations.
Sheriff Gualtieri says, “It’s time for our store owners and managers to step up and be responsible for removing these items from their stores. These substances are dangerous, and we are encouraging their compliance.”