Mayor Muriel Bowser plans to sign the “Sale of Synthetic Drugs Emergency Amendment Act of 2015” into law July 10.
The new legislation will authorize local police and government officials to “take swifter and stronger action against businesses that sell synthetic drugs,” according to a press release from the mayor’s office. The illegal substances, which are known by street names like “Spice,” “K2,” “Kush,” and “Scooby Snax” have had sales traced to gas stations and liquor stores.
The city has experienced a rise in overdoses of various synthetic drugs, and officials fear that the effects of the drugs can lead to a spike in homicides and other violent crimes.
Synthetic drugs appear to have played a part in the July 4 metro stabbing that left one man dead, according to the Metropolitan Police Department. Authorities believe the suspect in the attack, 18-year-old Jasper Spires, had synthetic drugs in his system at the time. The drugs can contribute to violent, erratic behavior and an altered mental state of those who consume it.
Bowser will be joined by District Councilmembers and law enforcement officials at the signing.