D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser signed emergency legislation into law Friday to combat the spike in overdoses of synthetic drugs.
On Thursday, D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier attended a neighborhood meeting addressing synthetic drugs and how police believe it is likely linked to the uptick in violent crimes in the District.
Mayor Bowser has been pledging for months to do something about the distribution of synthetic drugs, and nearly ten days ago, the D.C. Council approved emergency legislation she proposed.
Despite this crackdown, FOX 5 went undercover and found some synthetic drugs were still on sale on the eve of the law being made official.
Despite the mayor publicly saying there needed to be immediate action, we asked her earlier this week why police were still waiting on her signature to bust businesses selling synthetic drugs.
"We moved it as an emergency so it can go into effect just as soon as I put my signature on it,” said Bowser.
We asked her what has been holding it back.
She responded, "It takes some time to be transmitted from the council to make sure it’s going through -- all I's and T's dotted."
D.C. police will be able to shut a business down for up to four days and fine the merchant $10,000 for distributing the drugs as a first offense. Police could ultimately shut them down permanently if they continue to sell.
Just hours before the law became official, a FOX 5 informant hit the streets of D.C. in search of synthetic drugs. It took a few tries and asking those familiar with the neighborhood.
"They're not supposed to be selling it,” said one person. “Once, the store clears, you go to the counter and you buy some there."
And that is exactly what happened at one D.C. store.
“He served me directly from the counter,” said the informant.
For $8.99, you can buy a gram and a half of Bizarro.
"It has people choking, coughing, it renders people unconscious,” the informant told us. “This stuff is just atrocious. It's potpourri. It’s incense. Why would you want to get high off of incense? You're asking to die.”