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Fayette deputies seize 160 pounds of synthetic marijuana

Members of the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office Tactical Narcotic’s Team (TNT) on June 14 seized in an undisclosed location in Fayette County approximately 160 pounds of a substance suspected to be a type of synthetic marijuana.

Sheriff’s spokesman Brent Rowan said the seizure was the result of a regulatory action passed down from the Georgia State Board of Pharmacy (SBOP) and the Georgia Drugs and Narcotic Agency (GDNA) to all Georgia Post Certified Peace Officer’s in a June 11 emergency ruling.

The seizure of 160 pounds of the substance was made at an undisclosed location in Fayette County, Rowan said, adding that no arrests were made due to the seizure being a regulatory action and not a criminal action. The seizure was made from a tip given to TNT investigators, Rowan said.

Rowan said the emergency ruling is an effort by the SBOP and the GDNA to identify new compounds found in substances which had previously been classified as synthetic marijuana by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) Division of Forensic Science (DOFS).

Gov. Nathan Deal on March 27 signed Chase’s Law that bans all forms of synthetic marijuana in the state. The substance is sometimes referred to as “Spice” and had been available for purchase without restriction by adults and teenagers alike.

The law was named in memory of 16-year-old McIntosh High School honor student and soccer player Chase Corbitt Burnett whose body was found by his father March 4 in the hot tub at their home near Peachtree City.

Concerns were raised at the time by lawmakers and law enforcement officials that it would only be a matter of time before another version of Spice, with altered ingredients, might find its way to consumers.

Rowan said the emergency ruling authorizes law enforcement officers to identify and seize substances which may contain these newly identified compounds where a sample will then be submitted to the GBI for testing.

According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, there were 6,959 calls nationwide related to adverse effects associated with synthetic cannabinoid compounds in 2011. This is nearly 2.4 times the amount of calls in 2010. Doctors have determined that synthetic marijuana can cause psychosis and increase the tendency of violent behavior.

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