State lawmakers work to ban drug sold as "bath salt" - - The News for South Mississippi

State lawmakers work to ban drug sold as "bath salt"


By Patrice Clark – bio | email

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The state could soon ban a dangerous drug being sold as bath salts in local stores. Republican Senators Michael Watson and Sidney Albritton have authored bills to outlaw the salts, which are said to give a quick high. Louisiana's Governor Bobby Jindal put an emergency ban on six chemicals found in the salts last week.

The fake bath salt is the latest craze for drug users seeking a legal high.  According to Narcotics Task Force Commander Curtis Spiers, a person can snort, smoke and inject this white powder. 

"I would venture to say this stuff is dangerous or more dangerous than the Spice," Spiers said. "It is another dangerous drug that is very similar in nature to Methamphetamine."

Spiers said the salts originated overseas and are now being sold here legally for about $30. It usually comes in a small packet and is marketed under names such as Ivory Wave, White Dove, and Cloud Nine. 

"There multitude of stores selling it right now."  

Senator Michael Watson from Pascagoula said it's time the state makes stores pull this dangerous product off their shelves. He said the salts can cause paranoia, hypertension, chest pains, headaches and rapid heartbeats. 

"There have been over 100 overdoses called in to poison control centers, and multiple visits to emergency rooms. Over 75 percent of the call-ins have come from Kentucky to Louisiana, so this is something that is attacking the South," Watson said.

Watson said he and a fellow Picayune Senator have taken steps to stop the sale of the fake bath salts by writing bills to ban the chemicals in it. 

"It is captures everything that is really all encompassing for the bath salt issue, so any kind of derivative that someone can come up is already captured." 

The bills are in committee now. Watson said he hopes fellow legislators say yes to at least one of the bills. Watson wants the state has to stay committed in combating the new generation of drugs. 

Watson said if there is enough support for the bills, there could be a new law banning the fake bath salts by next month. Under the proposed bills, first offenders could spend up to 20 years in prison. The fines can add up to a $1 million. 

Last year, the herbal, pot-alternative Spice was outlawed in Mississippi.

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