The Frederick Police Department (FPD) takes seriously the risk synthetic cannabinoids and “bath salts” pose to public health. It is for this reason that the FPD will continue our enforcement, prevention, outreach, and education efforts to the public, to businesses, as well as internally to our officers. As such, we directed that the FPD take a multi-prong approach by addressing businesses, training personnel, and public service presentations. Our efforts were the results of research and interaction with other agencies and other jurisdictions in order to create an enlightened approach designed for our city and our agency.
After synthetic cannabinoids (JWH-018, JWH-073, JWH-200, CP-47 497, and cannabicyclohexanol) were temporarily placed into the Federal Controlled Substance Act (CSA) on March 1, 2011, the Frederick Police Department began a three pronged education program to:
• Train our officers
• Educate business owners
• Educate the public at large
These efforts included distributing “Notice to Business Owner Concerning Illegal Substances” letters to businesses selling “herbal incense.” The letters are being distributed to educate businesses that it is unlawful to manufacture, distribute, dispense, possess, import or export brands of herbal incense containing these five synthetic cannabinoid compounds. Letters will also be produced and distributed to businesses for “bath salts”, a synthetic stimulant, that was banned on October 18, 2011. Serving this letter on businesses who sell these products facilitates the education of the business owner regarding current laws as well as the current dangers of these products. This obviously helps put a level of responsibility on the business owner.
As a result of seeing these products “on the street” and after the bans of synthetic cannabinoids and bath salts, the Frederick Police Department created and conducted training for our officers. The training educated officers on the new laws, product names, marketing and packaging, health risks and charging offenders. Information about these compounds will be also added to future curricula for police academies and in-service training.
We also saw a great need for public/external training as well, so the FPD has presented synthetic cannabinoids and bath salts presentations to members of the Frederick County Public Schools and the Citizens Police Academy. In the future, we hope to provide presentations to the city’s 12 Neighborhood Advisory Councils (NAC).
The FPD will continue to work closely with the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office, Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Frederick County Health Department in order to educate the public and enforce the ban on these compounds.
This approach is part of the FPD’s on-going multi-pronged strategy of enforcement, education, prevention, and outreach and is part of the cohesive crime fighting strategy employed by the FPD.
For further information please contact:
Lt. Thomas Ledwell at email@example.com
Sgt. Dwight Sommers at firstname.lastname@example.org
United States Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration, Office of Diversion Control, Schedules of Controlled Substances: Temporary Placement of Five Synthetic Cannabinoids into Schedule I, http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/fed_regs/rules/2011/fr0301.htm
National Institute on Drug Abuse, Message from the Director on “Bath Salts” – Emerging and Dangerous Products, http://drugabuse.gov/about/welcome/MessageBathSalts211.html