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UPDATE: 2 SCV retailers arrested in illegal drug sales sweep

‘Spice,’ ‘bath salts’ are target of searches

Posted: July 9, 2014 2:05 p.m.
Updated: July 9, 2014 7:06 p.m.

Photo courtesy the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station.


Deputies carried out a sweep of four local tobacco stores this week, looking for sales of synthetic marijuana compounds commonly called “bath salts” or “spice,” a Santa Claita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputy said Wednesday.

Deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Juvenile Intervention Team conducted the sweep Tuesday at four stores to ensure that Santa Clarita businesses are complying with laws regarding illegal substances, Deputy Josh Dubin said.

Retailers at two of the four stores were arrested when they were caught allegedly selling “spice” products, Dubin said. The products were also seized.

“These items are of particular concern to us,” Dubin said about the illegal pot-like compounds, “especially if we’re receiving information that they’re ending up in the hands of people under (age) 18.”

The sweep was prompted by tips that some local tobacco shops may be selling “bath salts” and “spice” to children and adults. Authorities would not reveal the location of the four stores.

California Health and Safety Code Section 11357.5 makes it illegal for any person to sell, dispense, distribute, offer to sell or possess for sale any synthetic cannabinoid compound or any synthetic cannabinoid derivative.

This misdemeanor crime can be punishable by imprisonment in a county jail, a substantial fine or both.

“Spice,” also known inaccurately as synthetic cannabis, is a psychoactive designer drug made from natural herbs sprayed with synthetic chemicals that, when consumed, can mimic the effects of other illegal drugs.

The term “bath salt” is a name for a family of designer drugs that can have effects similar to amphetamine and cocaine.

The white crystals resemble legal bathing products, but chemically the two have no relation.

Local narcotics detectives first noticed “bath salts” and “spice” appearing in the Santa Clarita Valley three years ago.

In an August 2012 interview with The Signal, Detective Scott Schulze said, “Within the last six months, we’ve just started seeing it in the north part of the county and the San Fernando Valley.”

“I wouldn’t call ‘bath salts’ prevalent at this point, but it’s definitely emerging,” he said at the time.

The synthetic drugs, which officials said are becoming popular among “club kids,” are generally made of a complex series of chemical compounds. Spice looks like its namesake but contains hallucinogens that can have varying effects when smoked.

The effects of bath salts range from mild hallucinations to “complete psychosis,” according to Schulze.
on Twitter @jamesarthurholt




tpaul: Posted: July 9, 2014 6:57 p.m.

I take it we didn't find any ?

tech: Posted: July 9, 2014 8:22 p.m.

I'll overlook "retailors" because the cliché "cracking down" was avoided.

ricketzz: Posted: July 10, 2014 9:12 a.m.

Why doesn't the paper tell us where the illegal activity is alleged to have happened? Are they protecting killer tobacco now?

johnnyrock: Posted: July 10, 2014 11:40 a.m.

We should know which stores are selling them....this doesn't help us at all.

Unreal: Posted: July 10, 2014 12:12 p.m.

If you sell something that has consumers ending up eating people this should be more than a misdemeanor.

I would have much rather had my kids when young get a hold of real pot instead of alcohol or these other chemicals.

Lets legalize pot and get rid of this cr*p.

Lotus8: Posted: July 10, 2014 1:16 p.m.

Ditto what Unreal said. Make peace, not war, with drugs. All the war on drugs has gotten us is gangsters, shootings, and billions upon billions of dollars in debt. Prohibition didn't work with alcohol, which is no different than weed. End the insanity.

lars1: Posted: July 10, 2014 1:31 p.m.

How can I stop my kids from going.......WHERE?

This is basic reporting 101

chefgirl358: Posted: July 10, 2014 4:07 p.m.

Unreal, so I'm trying to figure out your legalization logic. Do you propose legalizing everything (acid, pot, shrooms, cocaine, meth, heroin, etc.) or only pot? You don't think pot is a gateway drug that leads people to all of the other crap I just mentioned?

chefgirl358: Posted: July 10, 2014 4:10 p.m.

Additionally, would you put an age limit on the legalization? Only over 18? 21? Any age? If so, an 18 year old can use it but not a 17 yr old? Teens are already bigtime drug users, you don't think it will drag them further into a lifestyle they can't manage? You don't think opening the floodgates will give the impression that it's okay to do it anytime anywhere and have a huge spike in dui's, health problems and various other related crimes? Also, it IS definitely linked to mental health problems, not only creating mental health disorders but exacerbating pre-existing mental illness. --edited.

Dude: Posted: July 10, 2014 6:31 p.m.

The gateway first drug of choice for our youth isn't pot, it is alcohol. We should make that illegal...Oh that's right, we all drink because it is legal.

chefgirl358: Posted: July 10, 2014 6:46 p.m.

Dude, exactly. Following that logic if pot is legal, more people will smoke it.

philellis: Posted: July 10, 2014 7:15 p.m.

studies have shown that most teens that use drugs ate mashed potatoes as youngsters.

cj64: Posted: July 10, 2014 8:26 p.m.

What about the guy arrested at the bank for using a customers credit card?

What bank ?

boneshark: Posted: July 10, 2014 8:26 p.m.

@chefgirl358: PLEASE STOP COMPARING POT TO OTHER ILLEGAL DRUGS!!! They may be the same thing in your mind, but in the real world they are completely different and it's just ignorant to make such a comparison. If you're inclined use acid, cocaine or meth, smoking pot is not the thing that's gonna get you to use those other drugs. POT IS NOT A GATEWAY DRUG!!!! It's as much a gateway drug as aspirin. And please keep in mind that you can have a deadly overdose on aspirin, but not on pot.

chefgirl358: Posted: July 11, 2014 12:10 a.m.

Pot is the biggest gateway drug that exists.

Allan_Cameron: Posted: July 11, 2014 4:01 a.m.

Legalization of drugs is unquestionable the correct answer, BUT NOT IN ISOLATION.

The "glamour" (!?!?), "sophistication" (!?!?) "Maturity" (!?!?), "sexual magnetism" (!?!?) the "cool factor" and other sales tools, used with success for decades for both alcohol and tobacco must be stripped from these two products. Counter marketing was having such success with reducing tobacco use, that the murderous tobacco companies went to the supreme court and obtained rulings that muted and reduced the dramatic, wonderful effect the anti-tobacco ads were having. Tobacco companies are guilty of serial mass murder, committed by slow, decades long torture to death of their victims.

If marketing power was unleased against alcohol, tobacco, and all the other drugs people insist on using, the problem would largely vanish.

If drug use was seen as being as "attractive" as having a flabby butt with hundreds of zits on it, as well as having a tiny penis, universal scorn from the "beautiful people", no sex, and an ugly appearance, youth would avoid all of them like polka music at a rap club.

Instead, we have beautifully crafted TV ads for booze.

Organized crime learned from prohibition, and its abolition. That lesson, well learned, is why the "drug wars" continue.

However, legalization without a wide ranging counter marketing campaign against the effects of using the drugs would be tragic. But so is the current farce.

ricketzz: Posted: July 11, 2014 9:01 a.m.

Pot was defacto legalized before the Traitor Reagan and his urine tests that bust potheads for historical use not present impairment. The brewers and Big Phrma are against pot, along with the bulk cellulose producers (timber companies), and base oil manufacturers (Big Oil).

Pot is free. It is harmless. It gets one closer to [God]. It makes jazz easier to follow. It makes Dragnet the funniest show on retro TV. It hurts no one where it is legal. It is feedstock for gangsterism where it is banned.

ricketzz: Posted: July 11, 2014 9:04 a.m.

Oh yeah, one more thing; I heard on the barely listenable AM1220 (I can fix their audio cheap) that the names of the stores are being held until the lab results on the confiscated inventories come back. They sell that stuff in C-stores all over the geto, BTW.

chefgirl358: Posted: July 11, 2014 10:22 a.m.

Ricketzz, what's a c store?

Unreal: Posted: July 11, 2014 10:33 a.m.

I smoked pot in the 70's and early 80's. So did the last three Presidents.
Millions of people have smoked pot and never done other drugs. Millions drink alcohol and don't become alcoholics.


You can use the money saved from trying to enforce antiquated pot laws and spend it on education and rehab for those who need it.

Who cares what chefgirl says. The ball is already rolling and there is no stopping it. Legal in a few states now and will be legal in most in the next few years.

tpaul: Posted: July 11, 2014 1:15 p.m.

Dude , where's my car ?

johnnyrock: Posted: July 11, 2014 2:22 p.m.

Chefgirl...........not all teens are big time drug users, my son is 18 and wants nothing to do with drugs or alcohol. You need to watch how you word things...just saying.

chefgirl358: Posted: July 11, 2014 3:03 p.m.

Johnny, never said or thought that all teens are drug users, but I'm sure they make up one of the larger pieces of the pie in terms of age group. I know plenty of great kids who don't use drugs (not that I know of anyway!) and never meant to imply that they all use dope. I AM concerned that ,legalizing one thing will open the floodgates and end up influencing more teens to try or get involved with drugs than ever before, maybe even kids who normally would not have tried it. Making it legal just rubber stamps it, sends the message - not even the cops or govt think it's a problem for you to do this.

I sincerely don't want to see anyone get mixed up with drug problems and I think that legalizing dope because politicians are only looking at the monetary aspect of it, will come back to haunt everyone in a big way not too many years from now.

chefgirl358: Posted: July 11, 2014 3:05 p.m.

Unreal, yep unfortunately I agree with you. Sadly, it will be legal in most states before too long. Lawmakers will all rubber stamp this before waiting 5 years or so to see what sort of negative issues crop up in the places it was already legalized.

DMeyer: Posted: July 12, 2014 12:37 a.m.

I'm concerned about marijuana becoming legal, I don't want our teens using it. Actually I don't think anyone should use it unless there is a *legitimate* medical reason to do so. If it does become legal then do our cops, firemen, FBI agents, all federal agents for that matter get to start using drugs? What about air traffic controllers, train operators and my dentist? And what's next after pot? What other drugs will the dopers be asking to be legalized? If you think it will only be pot you're high right now, this is just the starting point.

chefgirl358: Posted: July 12, 2014 1:13 a.m.

DM, no they don't get to start using it. Their company or Department policy which spells out no drug use still supersedes their usage, even with a "prescription."

But yeah, I feel you on the other points for sure.

DMeyer: Posted: July 12, 2014 1:44 a.m.


Until the discrimination lawsuit gets filed, the courts would eventually rule that they will not be able to ban an employee from using a *legal* substance. All the reason why these illegal drugs need to remain illegal.

SReilly12: Posted: July 12, 2014 1:41 p.m.

DMeyer - Funny you mention dentists - yrs ago I had a dental apt with new dentist. My appointment was the day following their office holiday party. Just as they started to work on me I stopped them and asked..........Why am I smelling alcohol?!? Instruments dropped to the tray, both excused themselves from the room and next a new team arrived to complete the work on me. Thank God I could smell the booze........wouldn't of noticed anything I'm sure if they were using pot.

Allan_Cameron: Posted: July 12, 2014 2:02 p.m.

Saw a vodka TV ad several years ago that showed the vodka users wearing 25,000 dresses, driving Rolls Royce automobiles, all located in a 50 million dollar mansion, all laughing, having a great time, all very attractive people, and all clearly intending to "hook up" shortly.

Beer ads don't sell liquid. They sell camaraderie, peer acceptance, and robust masculinity.

Unlike the muted, but still slightly present ant-tobacco ads, the alcohol industry has been successful in keeping anti-alcohol ads from ever starting.

No one here has commented on the plague of teen age use of alcohol, a legal drug.

Heroin is now selling well in Santa Clarita.

A decent definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing, thinking that a different outcome will occur. The "war on drugs" has been underway for 80 years.

We should realize that the war on drugs has been won. By the drug cartels.

Legalization, taxation, and, most importantly, a multi-media campaign using social media for certain, all designed to make drug use as "cool" as bad breath will work.

I am convinced that those in authority who oppose this approach are paid by organized crime.

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