St. Clair County Cracks Down on Synthetic Drugs

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Authorities in southwestern Illinois’ St. Clair County say they’ve raided more than a dozen businesses as part of a crackdown on synthetic drugs.

State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly says there were at least 13 targeted sites, ranging from convenience and liquor stores to smoke shops.

There’s no immediate word on any arrests, though similar raids recently across Illinois produced no charges as long as retailers agreed not to sell the drugs again.

The synthetic drugs are chemicals coating plant materials to imitate marijuana, or mixed with powders to mimic cocaine or methamphetamine.

Illinois and other states have responded to synthetic drugs by banning specific formulas of the synthetic marijuana and so-called bath salts. Attorney General Lisa Madigan is pursuing legislation to clarify their status and significantly increase penalties.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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