The coastline fondly known as the Jersey Shore has been a part of New Jersey life for decades. It is filled with boardwalks that offer visitors a range of fun, food and games. Shop owners have built their living selling wares from their open air stores including souvenirs, comically insulting t-shirts, tattoos both real and artificial and incense for many years.
The March ban of several chemicals that combine to create the synthetic drugs like K2 has some shop owners confused after they were left standing with empty pockets and facing possible drug charges for something that has been considered staple merchandise for years.
In a recent sting on the Wildwood, New Jersey boardwalk, undercover agents scoured the area for gaming and other regulatory violations. At the conclusion of the investigation, the officials seized nearly $35,000 worth of bath salts and incense they suspected to contain one or more of the illegal substances despite labels warning against human consumption.
One shop owner voluntarily gave up his supply instead of facing criminal sanctions, but asked officials “what am I supposed to check for?” According to the shop owner, he follows the law and purchases the merchandise from distributors that ensure that the products contain only legal substances.
“This had been sold in the open for 15 years. It’s all over the boardwalk,” the owner said of the allegedly questionable incense. He is now out the money he spent on purchasing the product but still does not know how he is supposed to tell the difference between what can be sold and what cannot.
Source: nj.com, “Authorities find banned designer drug ‘bath salts’ at many Jersey Shore stores during surprise visits,” Tom Haydon, 12 July 2011