PPSO seizes “Mojo” from seven local storesNov 9th, 2011 | By William Dilella | Category: news
On October 27, the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Division confiscated “Mojo” and other synthetic marijuana like products from seven local stores, after receiving reports that the items were still available to purchase.
The search and seizure stems from updates adopted into Louisiana House Bill No. 12 in this past legislative session. That ban targeted new forms of chemicals commonly labeled as bath salts and potpourri that can be used to induce similar effects as marijuana. Those variants targeted in the ban were chemicals synthesized in direct response to previous ones banned in the original bill.
These products became illegal to manufacture, sell or possess as of July 15 this year.
Upon passage of House Bill No. 12, District Attorney Charles Ballay of the 25th Judicial District issued a public statement to business owners who were still stocking the synthetics for purchase.
“For the past several years people have been altering the chemical makeup of certain substances that are sold to people who would smoke or ingest them to get high or hallucinate,” Ballay said. “They altered the chemical makeup to get around the laws that made certain drugs or substances illegal… This legislative change will allow the sheriff’s office and prosecutors to remove these items from our parish and communities to make it a safer place to live and raise families.”
The agents from the Narcotics Unit seized over 700 separate packages, representing 10 varieties of bath salts and other Mojo products, which came to about 3.5 lbs. Some of the stores selling the by-the-ounce packages reported that the variants stocked were in fact legal, and two stores had their own independent laboratory tests they had conducted to confirm the product was legal. However, some of the confiscated packages did test positive for the banned chemicals.
“Six of the brand name products tested positive for the substances consistent with synthetic marijuana, which are banned under Title 40 Section 966 of the Louisiana Revised Statues,” said Col. Charles S. Guey, Chief of Operations with the Sheriff’s Office.
The Sheriff Department’s own test results are still pending on the remaining products.
The updates to Louisiana House Bill 12 make the substances seized punishable as schedule 1 drugs, and subject to the same potential fines or jail time for distribution as marijuana itself.