Synthetic Drugs Disappear From Smoke Shop Counters

Wednesday, November 2nd 2011, 7:55 pm
By: News 9

Jamie Oberg, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A new law went into effect yesterday, making all of the 250 chemicals used to make synthetic pot and other street drugs illegal.

At a random sampling of local smoke shops and gas stations, it appears retailers have gotten the message. But an anonymous clerk at one shop, however, said the synthetics would be available tomorrow.

"We're just waiting for the product to come in to us and we're waiting on the paperwork to come in from the vendors to make sure it's all legal in Oklahoma," she said.

Vendors trying to stay one step ahead of the law is nothing new. Mark Woodward, spokesman for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, said vendors will come up with new concoctions not specifically mentioned by name in the law.

"It's frightening. We're not going to know about them until a kid ends up dead," he said.

Woodward said wholesalers of synthetic drugs are scrambling to find ways around the 250 now-illegal substances Oklahomans were buying at gas stations and smoke shops before the law passed.

He said even if a vendor makes a product that skirts the letter of the law, local smoke shops should beware.

"Even if it's not by-the-letter-of-the-law illegal—the product itself—their actions and conversations could be something to prosecute them for," Woodward said.

Woodward said OBN agents will be visiting smoke shops all across the state and seizing any new synthetic drugs for testing. If those turn out to be illegal, he said the shop owner could face life in prison.

If the ingredients are legal, he said the OBN will add those ingredients to the list to be made illegal next year.