You see them in gas stations and on the internet, marketed as "potpourri," "incense," or "bath salts" under names like K2, Jazz, and Eclipse. What are these?
They are synthetic substitutions for marijuana and cocaine, meant to be smoked or snorted. The composition of what's in the package will depend on what you are buying and where. What's legal and illegal also changes as state and federal laws play catch up with the drugs' ever-changing chemical compositions.
After a few well-publicized adverse incidents, the state of Florida outlawed the sale of the chemicals marketed as "bath salts," designating them a Schedule 1 substance. A similar ban was attempted on Synthetic Marijuana products, but a shift in the formulation had them back on the shelves days after the law went into effect. A federal ban on synthetic drugs has been proposed and is making its way through Congress.
What does all of this mean for you?
At the current time, it is legal to possess Synthetic Marijuana sold in Florida. Possession of certain formulations sold online may or may not be legal in this state; sites rarely disclose the ingredients in their products, so you probably will not know. None of the drugs commonly sold as bath salts are legal to possess. They are currently on the same legal footing as drugs like methamphetamine and cocaine.
However, those on probation have further restrictions. The newest urine tests screen for these drugs. If you are on probation, you may get violated if synthetic drugs, legal or not, are detected in your urine. This can result in getting your probation revoked and can lead to heavy fines or land you back in jail.
There are a number of reasons to stay away from Synthetic Drugs outside the legal repercussions. Synthetic Marijuana has been linked to a number of deaths nationwide. Synthetic Cocaine products can lead to delusions, dangerous overdoses, or deaths. All in all, if it makes you rampage naked through your neighbor's yard or think your furniture is out to get you, you should give it a pass.