Saturday, May 18, 2013
Outlawing Synthetic Cocaine in Anchorage
Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan submitted a resolution to ban the sale, manufacture and possession of synthetic cocaine.
Its high may be real, but fake cocaine is perhaps even more dangerous than the real thing. And, it may soon be illegal in Anchorage.
Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan announced today he is submitting an ordinance that would outlaw the manufacture, sale, and possession of all forms of synthetic cocaine.
Known by brand names like "Vanilla Sky" and "Ivory Wave," the drugs are sold as unregulated bath salts, incense, and fertilizer.
The products are dangerous and have become increasingly popular among Alaska's youth.
This year, the Poison Control Center reported a 1,400 percent increase in calls from people who suffered convulsion, paranoia, hallucination, and even death after using the synthetic drug.
But would a law to ban it be effective?
Last year, the city banned the sale of synthetic marijuana—the state followed suit January 2011.
However, manufacturers made slight changes to the chemical makeup of the drug, which means the newer forms are again legal in Anchorage.
With governments tightening their fiscal belts, there is not a lot of money for police to enforce the bans.
Despite that, Mayor Sullivan believes the ordinance will be successful.
Sen. Kevin Meyer, a Republican from South Anchorage, says he will introduce a statewide ban in January when the legislature reconvenes in Juneau.
Like the mayor, Meyer says he understands the challenges faced in eliminating the drug from Alaska. He says the laws will have an effect primarily on shop owners who might be tempted to sell it.
Mayor Sullivan says he will make sure the Anchorage Police Department checks up on local gas stations and smoke shops to ensure illegal synthetic drugs are not being sold.