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 County Board Pushes Tougher Laws for Synthetic Drugs

The San Diego County Board of Education Thursday called for a re-designation of synthetic drugs that would enable school administrators to impose tougher discipline on students who use, possess, sell or furnish such drugs.

The board voted unanimously in support of a resolution calling for legislation and Education Code amendments that would grant school districts “express authority to discipline students for conduct involving or related to synthetic drugs.”

“Right now, synthetic drugs are not within the parameters of controlled substances under the state Health and Safety Code,” said Loretta Middleton, Executive Director of Student Support Services at the County Office of Education. “If they were designated a controlled substance, school districts could impose mandatory expulsion for selling them. Without a change in the law, school districts’ cannot impose discipline that is commensurate with the offense of selling synthetic drugs.”

Synthetic drugs, also known and marketed as “bath salts” and “spice,” have been known to cause seizures, hallucinations, paranoia, panic attack, increased heart rates and suicidal thoughts. According to the American Medical Association, the popularity of synthetic drugs has grown recently, particularly among teens, who may not be aware of the drugs’ potential danger. The County Office of Education Student Support Services Department provides training for school districts on the dangers of synthetic drugs.

The County Board of Education resolution will be circulated among all school districts in San Diego County, as well as with the local legislative delegation. ​