Enforcing K2 & Bath Salts Law A Problem In Kendallville

By John W. Davis

July 19, 2011 Updated Jul 19, 2011 at 11:09 PM EDT

KENDALLVILLE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - K2 and bath salts. They are sold under different brand names but police say they only do one thing, get you high.

Indiana's NewsCenter's was in Kendallville Tuesday night, as Kendallville Police broke down how the synthetic drugs are affecting their community.

Kendallville Mayor Suzanne Handshoe told the small crowd of about ten people that K2 is a huge problem with high school age children, because they are using the synthetic drug so they can pass drug tests.

Meanwhile, the Indiana law banning some chemicals found in K2 & bath salts went into effect July 1.

However, Kendallville Police told Indiana's NewsCenter that enforcing the law is not as easy as they would like it to be.

Detective Lance Waters said only 19 of 400 known synthetic weed substances are banned.

Meanwhile, Kendallville, as well other police agencies across Indiana do not have access to field test for K2.

That means anytime they catch someone with what they think is K2, they have to send a sample to lab and wait about three to four months for results.

"It is a longer process than what we would like. Reporter: Is that frustrating? At times yes... because you're trying to do a job and in many circumstances we can go out and do it right away and have an immediate effect. This one is a bit delayed," said Kendallville Police Detective Lance Waters.

Waters said K2 usually sells for about 15 dollars a pack.

He also said the fake pot is usually between 5 to 45 times stronger than marijuana.

However, he said certain synthetic substances can be up to 800 times stronger than marijuana.

Meanwhile, abusing bath salts is also a problem in Kendallville.

Bath salts, which usually sell for about 30 dollars a jar, can give a user a similar high to meth.

However, Waters said it comes with the same lows, like anxiety, weight loss, panic attacks and paranoia.

"I think that if we have people in the community that are selling things that are dangerous for our children, I think people have to take a strong look at where they do their business," said Kendallville Police Chief Rob Wiley.

"They have to use their buying power and their economic clout to have an impact on these people that have no regard for the community," continued Wiley.

Wiley has one major suggestion for state lawmakers.

He said if state leaders try to solve the continuing K2 & bath salt problem by banning chemical substances, they will always be playing catch up.

Wiley believes politicians need to find a way to ban the "effects" the drugs have and not just the chemical makeups.

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