The city of San Jacinto has banned the sale and distribution of synthetic drugs such as bath salts and "Spice" in an effort to curb its use among teens, officials said.
Anyone caught selling or possessing synthetic drugs including bath salts and Spice in San Jacinto faces a misdemeanor charge, possible jail time or a $1,000 fine.
"We are just trying to keep our community safe and these drugs out of the youths' hands," said Mike Emberton, the city's assistant city manager.
Businesses caught selling the synthetic drugs could have their licenses revoked under the new city ordinance, which became effective Thursday, he said.
The San Jacinto Police Department also plans to deploy a special enforcement team to conduct compliance checks of local businesses to ensure they are not selling the drugs, according to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.
Although city officials say they have not seen an increase in synthetic drug use in the city, they hoped the plan would prevent its use.
The new city ordinance comes after several media reports showed instances in which drug users experienced psychotic episodes while under the influence of bath salts, Emberton said.
In 2011, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration made the possession and sale of three of the chemicals commonly used to make bath salts — mephedrone, MDPV and methylone — illegal.
Spice is a synthetic drug that is a mixture of herbs and spices laced with psychoactive ingredients and often sold as incense or fake marijuana.