Banning Synthetic Drugs in Barrington

Products containing the synthetic drugs known as “bath salts” and K2/Spice are now prohibited in the village of Barrington.

An ordinance passed at the July 16 Board of Trustees meeting banned the sale, or possession of items containing these drugs.

“Synthetic drugs are one of the more serious things out there that no one knows about,” said Trustee and McHenry County Assistant State’s Attorney Robert Windon. “It is something that we all pass on the store and we see bath salts on the wall, and everybody just assumes it’s just the bath salts that you all know about for taking a bath or for relaxation. But it’s completely the opposite.”

Bath salts, or synthetic hallucinogens, and K2/Spice or synthetic marijuana, were made illegal in the state of Illinois, but they are now being disguised under false packaging and sold in many stores.

“It’s almost this underground world of drugs that they’ve done a good enough job of disguising that they are putting right out in front of us,” Windon said.

The new ordinance passed by the village will allow police an additional way to charge people for these offenses and make it easier to process the arrests.

“We have had problems with substances with kids and in stores here in Barrington. We have remedied that situation. We’ve made arrests. We’ve educated offenders and we’ve gotten rid of that problem as much as we can at this point. This ordinance will give us an additional tool to remove these substances from our town, “ Barrington Police Chief Jerry Libit said.

Terri Longo of the Barrington Area Drug Prevention Coalition is pleased with the ordinance, and expressed her gratitude on behalf of the coalition at the July 16 board meeting.

“The coalition appreciates the village of Barrington’s proactive approach to addressing the emerging issue of synthetic marijuana also known as spice or K2,” Longo said. “The village of Barrington is a strong partner in helping achieve our vision of creating a caring community free from substance abuse.”

Windon said the strongest tool we have against the synthetic substances is education, and encourages parents, teens and community members to learn more about them. Additional information will soon be available on the village of Barrington’s website. In the meantime, those interested in learning more can visit the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s website.

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