Just weeks after a concerned mother approached Town Council in Surfside Beach about the sale of “designer drugs” at a local head shop, work began to draft new legislation and discussions will begin Tuesday night.
Kathy LeGette told council about her son who uses the legal, synthetic drugs sold at Up in Smoke in Surfside Beach.
“My 24-year-old son is an addict,” she said. “Addicted to the legal poison that is being sold every day of the week at Up in Smoke. My beautiful son has waited too many mornings in the parking lot of Up in Smoke waiting for his legal dope. Through my eyes though I do not see an adult and I do not see a 24 year old man. I see my beautiful child that was so sick he didn’t even know when it was Christmas Day.”
Alex Black, manager at Up in Smoke, said if the town does take action to make the substances illegal, the store will comply.
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“If what I have on the shelf is illegal, I would never carry it,” he said. “If [police] come in and say, ‘Listen, this is illegal,’ we won’t sell it.”
Mayor Doug Samples said Capt. Arron Miller was asked to research the issue and help create an ordinance banning the substances.
Miller, with Surfside Beach police department, said the ordinance is still being drafted and is not sure when it will be presented to Town Council. The challenge in creating the legislation, he said, is what to make contraband because the substances aren’t labeled for human consumption and the chemical makeup is easily altered.
Black said everyone is asked for ID upon walking in Up in Smoke. No one under 18 is allowed in. Black said they even denied service to one woman, legally an adult, whose parents came in asking ownership not to sell products to her.
He said the Surfside Beach store isn’t the only place selling the spice or incense and that it’s frustrating their store is the one being talked about.
The products, which Black said are just a small sampling of items sold, are clearly labeled as incense and not for human consumption.
“What people do with it outside the store, I don’t know,” he said. “You could go to Home Depot, anyone even under 18, buy glue and sniff that and get high. What people are doing with it, we don’t know and we can’t control that.”
Synthetic drugs are up for discussion during Tuesday night’s council meeting that begins at 6:30 p.m.