Sarasota County seeks public input on designer drug ordinance

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SARASOTA- While law enforcement officers are seeing more drug abusers turn to heroin, they're also seeing a higher proliferation of designer drugs, such as K2 or Spice.

On Wednesday night, Sarasota County held a public workshop seeking input on a designer drug ordinance.  That ordinance would declare illegal the manufacturing, transport, display, sale, and possession of designer drugs.

P.J. Brooks, Vice President of Outpatient Services at First Step of Sarasota, tells ABC 7, "we have state laws that declare cannabinoids illegal, but they're based off [the drugs'] chemical makeup.  Unfortunately, because they're made in a lab or clandestinely, manufacturers are changing the chemical makeup of the drugs to make them quasi-legal."

Sarasota County Health and Human Services says, in the past year, the county has experience an increase in the number of medical emergencies and criminal behavior linked to designer drugs. 

A public hearing on the ordinance is scheduled for February 12th.