Pawtucket police are asking stores to that sell synthetic drugs such as "bath salts" to turn them in to police.
Bath salts and other synthetics, including so-called synthetic pot and herbal incense, are banned by a new state law that makes it a crime to sell them. The products are often placed near the cash register and have names such as "Bliss" or "Lunar Wave."
Pawtucket police are working with local merchants to remove the products from stores.
"We advised them that these substances are illegal, and if they choose to, they can turn them into us voluntarily," Detective Sgt. Paul Brandley said.
Police sent a letter to retailers alerting them of the new law and offering them a short window in which to turn over their stocks of the now-banned substances.
"In the interest of preserving public safety and promoting the overall health and welfare of our citizens, the Pawtucket Police Department will strictly enforce this new law and prosecute to the fullest extent possible, anyone who manufactures, distributes, sells or possesses these illegal compounds," the letter says.
The manager of a convenience store on Newport Avenue said the substances have already been taken off the shelves at his market.
"Oh, people been crazy. If you don't have it, they get so mad with you," said Chaudhari Sajjad, a convenience store manager.
Maj. Arthur Martins said there may be some store owners that don't know they're illegal. Martins said police will give retailers until Nov. 1 to remove the products without penalty.
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