The designer drug, bath salts, is illegal in 28 states with more planning
bans, including Maryland. The drug contains the chemicals MDPV and mephedrone
and is sold as bath salts in convenience stores, head shops and online
with the label “not for human consumption.” The designer drug
is not specifically illegal under federal law, but the federal Analog
Act is being used to pursue charges in some designer drug cases, usually
where people died from using the drugs.
The Analog Act prohibits the sale of drugs that mimic the effects of already-illegal
drugs. Law enforcement pursuing cases under this law would have to prove
that the drug was knowingly being sold with the purpose of human consumption.
Some clerks of stores that sell the drugs have been charged with
drug offenses under federal law after explaining to undercover police officers how to
use the drug to get high, according to a recent article in The New York Times.
According to The New York Times, from January to June this year there were
3,470 calls made to poison control center across the country related to
bad reactions to bath salts. Some of the worse cases involve people committing
suicide or violent crimes while in an extremely agitated, paranoid or
psychotic state. People can experience extreme agitation and require sedation
at the hospital, and some have reported continued paranoia for months
after taking the drug.
The next post will discuss the move in Maryland to ban the designer drug
for some of the above reasons.
The New York Times, “An Alarming New Stimulant, Legal in Many States,” Abby Goodnough and Katie Zezima, 16 July 2011