Undercover: Synthetic drugs still selling at area smoke shops
SANDY SPRINGS, GA (CBS46) -
After a nationwide crackdown on synthetic drugs, CBS Atlanta went undercover to find stores in metro Atlanta still selling potentially dangerous chemicals sometimes sold as bath salts.
They are banned in Georgia but some people try to find a way around the law.
People use synthetic drugs because they have the same effects of cocaine or methamphetamines.
Even though bath salts are illegal, chemists just go around the law and change the chemical make up.
Clerks at the stores we visited said they're not selling bath salts - they're selling what's called bath powder instead.
"Can I get one of those white magic massaging bath salts?" asked the CBS Atlanta News undercover customer.
"Bath salts are illegal," replied the unidentified cashier. "Don't even call them bath salts again or I'll have to kick you out."
Undercover video shows clerks at Smoke 911 stores in both Sandy Springs and Roswell selling tiny packages of powdery substance that employees call bath powders.
"I was just curious, do you guys have any bath salts?" asked the CBS Atlanta News undercover customer, this time at another Smoke 911 store.
"No, we just carry like bubbling stuff," replied a different, unidentified cashier.
"Is that different?" asked the CBS Atlanta undercover customer.
"Yeah it's different, but a lot of people get it confused with the bath salts," replied the cashier.
"That looks like crack cocaine to me," said Lance Dyer, who strongly opposes synthetic drugs. "This stuff right here is the bath salts - they're calling it powder now. This is what your children; this is what adults are inhaling. This stuff is full of chemicals that with one use can cause death."
Dyer has made the eradication of synthetic drugs his passion ever since his teenage son, Dakota, committed suicide after smoking fake pot last year.
"Smoke 911 not only knows it's dangerous, puts themselves in a category of being a merchant of death and a narco-terrorist, that's what I call them."
So we took the tough questions right to Smoke 911.
"Are you sure you're not selling bath salts, but they're called bath powders?" asked CBS Atlanta News reporter Steve Kiggins.
"None of those, but like I said you can't film in here," said the unidentified cashier.
"We actually bought some of those today," said Kiggins.
"I don't think so, please leave," replied the cashier.
Dyer said a small package costs manufacturers $2 or $3 but shops like Smoke 911 rake in a huge profit.
"They know what they're selling is illegal, they know what they're selling is poisonous," said Dyer.
Dyer hopes the Georgia legislature will make improvements on the current law to ban all synthetic drugs instead of only the individual compounds that make up the substances.
Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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