FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 13, 2012
Yesterday, June 12, 2012, Agents of the Cherokee Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad (CMANS), and officers from the Canton, Woodstock, Holly Springs and Ball Ground Police Departments went to the known places in Cherokee County where products commonly known as synthetic cannabinoids. Agents were acting under an Emergency Order of the Georgia Board of Pharmacy the newest synthetic cannabanoids have been declared Schedule 1 Controlled Substances. The order had the effect of making these products contraband under the law. The law went into effect on Monday, June 11, 2012, and was distrubeted to law enforcement agencies at that time, but agencies waited to act until the Georgia Attorney General and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) could establish a State-wide strategy.
Because this was a regulatory action, with officers acting on behalf of the Pharmacy Board, no arrests were made. If the items recovered from the stores, once test by the GBI Crime Lab, turn out to be illegal under existing Georgia Law, the store managers will be charged with Felony Possession of a Schedule One Controlled Substance.
CMANS Agents recovered about 6,200 packages of synthetic marijuana at H Y Novelties in Canton, over 2,200 from Smoke 911 in Woodstock, and about 600 from a store in Ball Ground and 400 from a store in Holly Springs.
Earlier this year, on March 27, 2012, Governor Nathan Deal signed Senate Bill 370, known as the Synthetic Marijuana Bill into law. This law made all types of synthetic marijuana and synthetic substances known as “bath salts’ know at that time illegal to possess or sell in Georgia. Manufactures immediately began to produce products which skirted the new Georgia Law. A new family of potentially deadly substances have been on sale legally since April 2012. This emergency action by the Georgia Board of Pharmacy is a stop-gap measure that will provide some protection until the legislature returns to regular session in January of 2013. Phil Price, Commander of CMANS, pointed out “The process to make these highly lucrative products legal is slow and methodical, and this “outside the box” thinking is the perfect way to address the rapidly evolving industry. Law enforcement agencies, and parents in Georgia, owe Director Richard Allen of the Georgia Drug and Narcotics Agency (the enforcement arm of the Pharmacy Board) a great debt for stepping to the forefront and dealing with this issue.”
CMANS, along with the GBI and the Georgia Attorney Generals office have committed to do whatever is possible, within the law, to keep these dangerous products out of the hands of children and teenagers in our community.
The Cherokee Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad is a joint task force working in Cherokee County to investigate drug related violations. Participating agencies include the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, the Canton Police Department, the Woodstock Police Department, the Holly Springs Police Department, the Ball Ground Police Department, the District Attorney’s Office for the Blue Ridge Judicial Circuit, the Cherokee County BOE Police, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Georgia State Patrol. Citizens may call in tips anonymously to (770) 345- 7920, or may speak to an agent by calling (770) 704-2350.