(WHAS11) -- Indiana authorities are cracking down on synthetic drugs like "bath salts" and "spice." Police and the Indiana Attorney General announced a new program Thursday to keep these illegal drugs out of stores.
The drugs, marketed to youth have seen a 20 percent jump in cases from 2010 to 2011. The criminal penalties of the illegal drugs are similar to marijuana. But, the Indiana Attorney General announced new civil penalties that will cracking down on the smoke shops and convenience stores that sell them.
Authorities say the drugs have ever-changing chemical compounds. That burdens local law enforcement with costly testing to prove the drug is illegal.
Part of the new penalties would make drug manufacturers pay for that testing. Anyone caught selling will be prosecuted criminally.