BRISTOL, Va. - An empty store front once housed a store that sold synthetic marijuana, but as of Wednesday afternoon no store anywhere in Virginia could legally sell the fake drugs.
Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell signed a ban on both synthetic marijuana and bath salts, something Bristol, Virginia police say is long over due.
Detective Mike Danser says, "To know it's being taken off the shelves and has officially been deemed illegal is a plus."
Danser says both synthetic marijuana and bath salts have led to people being hospitalized. We looked into and found out at least two people in Bristol were taken to the hospital after using synthetic marijuana.
When it comes to bath salts, Danser says some people have died after using it.
Buying bath salts in Virginia is illegal, but it's not in Tennessee. Bristol, Virginia police say they are concerned about people going to Tennessee to buy the bath salts.
Some Virginia residents share the same concerns.
Matthew Shaffer tells us, "It probably wouldn't be a bad thing if Tennessee went ahead and banned it. Its not a bad thing that's getting banned at all."
While police are now working to keep the synthetic drugs off Virginia streets they're cautiously optimistic because they fear it won't be long before a new drug pops up.
Danser says, "The war on drugs has been going on for a long time and unfortunately when you get through one another battle starts."
We found out people caught with synthetic drugs in Virginia are facing misdemeanor charges,which could mean up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine.
Selling the synthetic drugs is now a felony. Sellers could face up to 30 years in prison.
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