Fake marijuana known as K2 and spice is on its way to becoming illegal in Columbia and Richland County.
The two local governments also are moving to ban bath salts, the street name for a white, powdery substance that can mimic the effects of cocaine or amphetamines.
For now, both are legal in South Carolina, and they can be purchased in gas stations and smoke shops, including at least three stores in Five Points. County Councilman Seth Rose said he has seen the drugs for sale in gas stations along Broad River Road and other areas of the county.
Rose coordinated with City Councilwoman Belinda Gergel to introduce identical ordinances Tuesday. City Council gave preliminary approval to the ordinance, and County Council sent the proposal to its development and services committee for review.
Local police and sheriffs departments have not made an issue out of the drugs or reported an increase in crime because of them. But a drug prevention specialist for LRADAC, the Midlands drug and alcohol treatment agency, said counselors are reporting an increase in the numbers of people seeking treatment for them.