County officials said they do not want to wait for more state or federal laws, so the fiscal court has taken the first step in the process to get rid of these substances.
Judge Executive Denny Ray Noble is supporting the ordinance to ban synthetic cannabinoids in Perry County to help fight the drug epidemic.
“We have a lot of deaths in Perry County because of that,” said Noble.
Noble said he believes the fake substances are gateway drugs. The four major types of cannabinoid, am, cp, hu, and jwh along with of their strands are included in the ban.
“This drug here, I don't think it is killing people, but what would be the after affects to the higher narcotics,” said Noble.
Jail officials said they are seeing more problems due to people abusing these substances.
“We have noticed a rise in the number of people who are brought in for D.U.I. for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of synthetic substances,” said Kentucky River Regional Jail Administrator Tim Kilburn.
Synthetic drugs have been known to cause elevated heart rate, increased blood pressure, vomiting, hallucinations and damaging psychological effects. Police said the bizarre behavior is what scares them the most about the synthetic drugs.
“It does something in the brain, it just seems like they lose reality and it is just a problem that nobody can deal with you really don't know what to expect when you go out on it,” said Chief deputy Tony Eversole who has seen this behavior first hand.
Eversole said that they have seen the behavior in teens and adults. He said the teenager on the synthetic drugs became irate and assaulted individuals, caused damage to property and they had to use force when taking him down. He said the next day the teen had no idea or recollection of his actions or comments about aliens coming down to get him.
“We had seen adult that had basically barricaded himself in a vehicle on a strip job and had a weapon and trying to get the officers to kill him calling in for helicopters to come to him,” said Eversole.
If the ordinance passes, jail officials said they hope it will decrease the amount of people who are locked up for driving under the influence of the synthetic drugs.
“We hope that the county passes this so we can step up some enforcement on it,” said Eversole.
“It costs about 34 dollars per day to house one inmate and we would hope that the number of inmates goes down therefore saving each of the two counties involved in the jail money per month,” said Kilburn.
The ban criminalizes 110 different forms of synthetic cannabinoids.
The next reading of the ordinance will be on Feb. 21. If it passes, it would go into effect immediately and the minimum punishment would be up to 90 days in jail and up to a $250 fine.
Possession of any of the forms would be a Class B misdemeanor. Anyone caught to be trafficking in the drug could face up to a year in prison with a $500 fine.