Chapter 5.10
SYNTHETIC DRUGS

Sections:

5.10.010    Purpose and intent.

5.10.020    Definitions.

5.10.030    Provision, sale and/or distribution of substances claimed or represented to be synthetic drugs prohibited.

5.10.040    Possession of synthetic drugs prohibited.

5.10.050    Public nuisance.

5.10.060    Summary abatement.

5.10.070    Revocation of business license.

5.10.080    Penalties.

5.10.090    Seizure of evidence.

5.10.100    Exclusions.

5.10.010 Purpose and intent.

Recreational use of psychoactive bath salts, psychoactive herbal incense and similar products commonly known as “synthetic drugs” has been documented to cause hallucinations, agitation, psychosis, aggression, suicidal and homicidal ideations, and death. While State and Federal laws and regulations prohibit some synthetic drugs, the makers of these drugs continually alter the composition of the compounds in their products so as to escape the purview of these laws and regulations. The purpose and intent of this chapter is to provide the City with reasonable measures to address the dangers to the community posed by synthetic drugs that are not regulated by State or Federal law. (Ord. 1445 § 2, 2014)

5.10.020 Definitions.

(A) “Business” shall mean an establishment engaged in one or more commercial or mercantile activities for the purpose of earning, in whole or in part, a profit or livelihood whether or not a profit or livelihood is actually earned thereby.

(B) “Consume,” “consuming” or “consumption” shall mean to ingest, inhale, inject, smoke or snort (insufflate).  

(C) “Distribute,” “distributing” or “distribution” shall mean to furnish, give away, exchange, transfer, deliver or supply, whether for monetary gain or not.

(D) “Enforcement Officer” shall mean any individual authorized by PMC 1.16.010, or any other local, State or Federal law, to enforce the Palmdale Municipal Code.

(E) “Person” shall mean any individual, partnership, corporation, or joint venture which conducts or purports to conduct a business activity within the City.

(F) “Possess,” “possessing” or “possession” shall mean to have for consumption, distribution or sale in one’s actual or constructive custody or control, or under one’s authority or power, whether such custody, control, authority and/or power be exercised solely or jointly with others.

(G) “Provide,” “providing” or “provision” shall mean offering to distribute or sell a product or substance to any person.

(H) “Psychoactive bath salts” shall mean any crystalline or powder product that contains a synthetic chemical compound that, when consumed, elicits psychoactive or psychotropic stimulant effects. The term “psychoactive bath salts” includes without limitation:

(1) Products that elicit psychoactive or psychotropic stimulant effects and contain any of the following intoxicating chemical compounds:

(a) Cathinone (2-amino-1-phenyl-1propanone), 4-methylmethcathinone (2-methylamino-1-(4-methylphenyl)propan-1-one), 4-methoxymethcathinone (1-(4-methoxyphenyl)-2-(methylamino)propan-1-one), MDVP (methylenedioxypyrovalerone), MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine), methylone (3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylcathinone), methcathinone (2-(methylamino)-1-phenyl-propan-1-one), flephedrone (4-fluoromethcathinone), 3-FMC (3-fluoromethcathinone), ethcathinone (2-ethylamino-1-phenyl-propan-1-one), butylone (β-keto-N-methylbenzodioxolylbutanamine), α-PPP (α-pyrrolidinopropiophenone), MPPP (4’-methyl-α-pyrrolidinopropiophenone), MDPPP (3’,4’-methykenedioxy-α-pyrrolidinopropiophenone), α-PVP (1-phenyl-2-(1-pyrrolidinyl)-1-pentanone) or naphyrone (1-naphthalen-2-yl-2-pyrrolidin-1-ylpentan-1-one);

(b) Any derivative of the above listed intoxicating chemical compounds;

(c) Any synthetic substance and its isomers with a chemical structure similar to the above listed compounds;

(d) Any chemical alteration of the above listed intoxicating chemical compounds; or

(e) Any other substantially similar chemical structure or compound; and

(2) Products that elicit psychoactive or psychotropic stimulant effects and are marketed under any of the following trade names: Bliss, Blizzard, Blue Silk, Bonzai Grow, Charge Plus, Charlie, Cloud Nine, Euphoria, Hurricane, Ivory Snow, Ivory Wave, Lunar Wave, Ocean, Ocean Burst, Pixie Dust, Posh, Pure Ivory, Purple Wave, Red Dove, Scarface, Snow Leopard, Stardust, Vanilla Sky, White Dove, White Night and White Lightning.

The term “psychoactive bath salts” shall not include any product, substance, material, compound, mixture or preparation that is specifically excepted by the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act (“UCSA”) (Health and Safety Code Section 11000 et seq.), listed in one of the UCSA’s schedules of controlled substances (Health and Safety Code Sections 11053 through 11058), regulated by one of the UCSA’s synthetic drug laws (Health and Safety Code Sections 11357.5, 11375.5, and 11401), regulated by the Federal Controlled Substances Act (the “CSA”) (21 U.S.C. 801 et seq.) or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”).

(I) “Psychoactive herbal incense” shall mean any organic product consisting of plant material that contains a synthetic stimulant compound that, when consumed, elicits psychoactive or psychotropic euphoric effects. The term “psychoactive herbal incense” includes without limitation:

(1) Products that elicit psychoactive or psychotropic euphoric effects and contain any of the following intoxicating chemical compounds:

(a) Cannabicyclohexanol (2-[(1 R, 3S)-3-hydroxycyclohexyl]-5-(2-methylnonan-2-yl)phenol), JWH-018 (naphthalene-1-yl-(1-pentylindol-3-yl)methanone), JWH-073 (naphthalene-1-yl-(1-butylindol-3-yl)methanone), JWH-200 ((1-(2-morpholin-4-ylethyl)indol-3-yl)-naphthalen-1-ylmethanone), HU-210 ((6aR, 10aR)-9-(Hydroxymethyl)-6,6-dimethyl-3-(2-methyloctan-2-yl)-6a, 7, 10, 10a-tetrahydrobenzo [c]chromen-1-ol), CP 47,497 (2-[(1R,3S)-3-hydroxycyclohexyl]-5- (2-methyloctan-2-yl)phenol) or AM-2201 (1-[(5-fluoropentyl)-1H-indol-3-yl]-(naphthalene-1-yl)methanone);

(b) Any derivative of the above listed intoxicating chemical compounds;

(c) Any synthetic substance and its isomers with a chemical structure similar to the above listed intoxicating chemical compounds;

(d) Any chemical alteration of the above listed intoxicating chemical compounds; or

(e) Any other substantially similar chemical structure or compound; and

(2)  Products that elicit psychoactive or psychotropic euphoric effects and are marketed under any of the following trade names: K2, K3, Spice, Genie, Smoke, PotPourri, Buzz, Spice 99, Voodoo, Pulse, Hush, Mystery, Earthquake, Black Mamba, Stinger, Ocean Blue, Serenity, Fake Weed.

The term “psychoactive herbal incense” shall not include any product, substance, material, compound, mixture, or preparation that is specifically excepted by the UCSA (Health and Safety Code Section 11000 et seq.), listed in one of the UCSA’s schedules of controlled substances (Health and Safety Code Sections 11053 through 11058), regulated by one of the USCA’s synthetic drug laws (Health and Safety Code Sections 11357.5, 11375.5 and 11401), regulated by the CSA (21 U.S.C. 801 et seq.) or approved by the FDA.

(J) “Psychoactive or psychotropic stimulant effects” shall mean affecting the central nervous system or brain function to change perception, mood, consciousness, cognition and/or behavior in ways that are similar to the effects of cocaine, methylphenidate or amphetamines.

(K) “Psychoactive or psychotropic euphoric effects” shall mean affecting the central nervous system or brain function to change perception, mood, consciousness, cognition and/or behavior in ways that are similar to the effects of cannabis.

(L) “Sell,” “selling” or “sale” shall mean to furnish, exchange, transfer, deliver or supply for monetary gain.

(M) “Synthetic drug” shall include psychoactive bath salts and psychoactive herbal incense, as those terms are defined hereinabove. (Ord. 1445 § 2, 2014)

5.10.030 Provision, sale and/or distribution of substances claimed or represented to be synthetic drugs prohibited.

(A) It is unlawful for any person to provide, distribute or sell any synthetic drug within the City of Palmdale.

(B) It is unlawful for any person to claim or represent that a product that person is providing, distributing or selling is a synthetic drug within the City of Palmdale.

(C) To determine if a person is claiming or representing that a product is a synthetic drug, the Enforcement Officer may consider any of the following evidentiary factors:

(1) The product is not suitable for its marketed use (such as a crystalline or powder product being marketed as “glass cleaner”);

(2) The business providing, distributing or selling the product does not typically provide, distribute or sell products that are used for that product’s marketed use (such as a liquor store selling “plant food”);

(3) The product contains a warning label that is not typically present on products that are used for that product’s marketed use (such as “not for human consumption,” “not for purchase by minors,” or “does not contain chemicals banned by Section 11357.5”);

(4) The product is significantly more expensive than products that are used for that product’s marketed use (such as half of a gram of a substance marketed as “glass cleaner” costing $50.00);

(5) The product resembles an illicit street drug (such as cocaine, methamphetamine, or marijuana); or

(6) The product’s name or packaging uses images or slang referencing an illicit street drug (such as “Eight Ballz” or “Green Buddha”).

(D) Merely disclaiming a substance claimed or represented to be a synthetic drug as “not safe for human consumption” will not avoid the application of this section. (Ord. 1445 § 2, 2014)

5.10.040 Possession of synthetic drugs prohibited.

It is unlawful for any person to possess any synthetic drug within the City of Palmdale. (Ord. 1445 § 2, 2014)

5.10.050 Public nuisance.

(A) It is a public nuisance for any person to provide, distribute or sell any synthetic drug within the City of Palmdale.

(B) It is a public nuisance for any person to allow the provision, distribution or sale of any synthetic drug on property owned, controlled or managed by such person within the City of Palmdale.

(C) It is a public nuisance for any person to provide, distribute or sell any substances claimed or represented to be a synthetic drug within the City of Palmdale.

(D) It is a public nuisance for any person to allow the provision, distribution or sale of any substance claimed or represented to be a synthetic drug on property owned, controlled or managed by such person within the City of Palmdale.

(E) To determine if a person is claiming or representing that a substance or product is a synthetic drug, the Enforcement Officer may consider any of the evidentiary factors set forth in PMC 5.10.030(C). (Ord. 1445 § 2, 2014)

5.10.060 Summary abatement.

Because the use of synthetic drugs has been documented to cause hallucinations, agitation, psychosis, aggression, suicidal and homicidal ideations, and death, any violation of this chapter presents a grave and imminent danger not only to the person consuming the synthetic drug, but also to the public at large. If the Enforcement Officer, based on the facts then known, determines that a violation of this chapter presents an imminent danger or hazard or is imminently injurious to the public health or safety, then that violation is subject to the emergency abatement procedures set forth in PMC 8.10.170. (Ord. 1445 § 2, 2014)

5.10.070 Revocation of business license.

No person holding a validly issued City business license and owning or operating a business in the City may use that business to provide, distribute or sell any synthetic drug or any substance claimed or represented to be a synthetic drug. A violation of this section by the holder of a validly issued City business license shall constitute grounds for modification, suspension and/or revocation of said license in accordance with the procedures set forth in Chapter 5.04 PMC. (Ord. 1445 § 2, 2014)

5.10.080 Penalties.

In addition to any penalty or remedy specifically authorized by this chapter, any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be punishable as set forth in PMC Title 1. Where the conduct constituting the violation is of a continuing nature, each day that the conduct continues shall be deemed a separate and distinct violation. (Ord. 1445 § 2, 2014)

5.10.090 Seizure of evidence.

Any product(s) or substance(s) possessed, provided, distributed or sold in violation of any provision of this chapter shall be seized by the enforcing officers and removed and stored in accordance with law. (Ord. 1445 § 2, 2014)

5.10.100 Exclusions.

(A) This chapter shall not apply to drugs or substances lawfully prescribed or to intoxicating chemical compounds which have been approved by the Federal Food and Drug Administration or which are specifically permitted by California law, including without limitation intoxicating chemical compounds that are specifically excepted by the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act (Health and Safety Code Section 11000 et seq.).

(B) This chapter shall not apply to drugs or substances which are prohibited by State or Federal law, including without limitation California Health and Safety Code Sections 11357.5, 11375.5 and 11401 and the Federal Controlled Substances Act.

(C) This chapter shall not be deemed to proscribe any act which is positively permitted, prohibited or preempted by any State or Federal law or regulation. (Ord. 1445 § 2, 2014)