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Ala. law enforcement sees rise in synthetic drugs
FLORENCE, Ala. (AP) -- Authorities in northwestern Alabama say they've been arresting more people suspected of using synthetic drugs.
Lawrence County Drug Task Force Director Amard Martin told the TimesDaily of Florence synthetic drugs appear to be the latest fad. Drug Enforcement Administration official Rusty Payne says the drugs can be manufactured abroad and are unregulated.
Payne says every state has different laws governing the use of certain chemicals.
Officials say this makes it difficult to prosecute people who sell or use synthetic drugs because seemingly minor changes to their chemical composition can put drugs that were once outlawed in a legal gray area until legislation is passed banning use of the replacement chemical.
Officials say synthetic drugs are usually marketed as herbal incense, bath salts, jewelry cleaner or plant food.