Synthetic marijuana still being sold despite state bans

By Louis Bolden, Reporter, lbolden@clickorlando.com
Lauren Sweeney, Special Projects Producer, lsweeney@clickorlando.com
Published On: Nov 07 2013 11:15:00 PM EST
Updated On: Nov 08 2013 12:31:13 AM EST

Hundreds of chemical compounds used to create synthetic marijuana, often known as K2 or spice, have been banned in the state of Florida, but a Local 6 undercover investigation found that stores may be skirting the law to continue to sell it.

ORLANDO, Fla. -

Florida's Attorney general has banned more than a hundred forms of synthetic marijuana, but Local 6 has learned similar items are still being sold and people are using them to get high.

[WEB EXTRA: Local 6 producers explain undercover investigation]

Anthony Moffa, 18, admitted to state troopers he was high on K-2 when he crashed into a motorcysclist in October of 2012.

"I was in shock.  I couldn't believe it. I just sent him to get a haircut," Steve Moffa, the teens father told Local 6.

Forest Flaniken, 53, was killed in the accident.

"I just felt heartbroken is the best way to put it," the victims widow, Kristen Flaniken told local 6.

Moffa was smoking a product  called Smokin' Dragon Potpurri.  He said he bought it at a tobacco shop in east Orange County.

A private investigator for the Moffa family says he was able to purchase the product in the same store months later.

Local 6 went undercover to that store and many more across the area.

In one of the tobacco shops we ran into a man who would called himself "The Spice Guy."

He says there are several stores that sell him synthetic marijuana, but he wouldn't tell us where.

Another man, at a different store showed us his stash of synthetic marijuana and pointed out the tobacco and tattoo shop where he says he bought it.

He told us to ask for 'herbal incense'

For less than $20 our photographer walked out with his own bag of 'Outer Edge,' a form of synthetic marijuana and even got a receipt.

We took it to Orange County Sheriff's Sergeant Chris Moore who told us he didn't know whether the product was legal or not.

"You have to test it to see," he said.

The state of Florida has banned 129 compounds of synthetic marijuana -- but as quickly as one is banned another one hits the market.

Law enforcement currently doesn't have the instant test kits for synthetic marijuana like they have to test other drugs.

"The spice guy" seems to take advantage of that.

"It goes legal and illegal, legal and illegal.  This chemical right here is legal," he told Local 6 referring to the packet of "Outer Edge' he had with him.

The situation disturbs two families who were drawn together by the same tragedy.

"They need to make more of an effort to get it off the streets so a tragedy like this doesn't happen again," Anthony Moffa said.  His son is serving a two and half year prison sentence.

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