Delaware moves to ban “bath salts”

Stimulants commonly known as “bath salts,” could be illegal in Delaware by the end of the week.

Delaware Governor Jack Markell announced Thursday the state will be moving to ban the dangerous substances as soon as Friday.

“We have every reason to make these drugs illegal,” said Governor Jack Markell.  “These drugs present a danger to public safety.  They have no legitimate use and can cause incredible damage to the lives of the user and those around the user.”

In an unprecedented move, Secretary of State Jeffrey Bullock is exercising his authority to issue an immediate ban on the drugs, and has asked the Controlled Substances Advisory Committee to hold an emergency meeting Friday afternoon.

Bullock says he plans to use his emergency authority to ban three synthetic chemical compounds used to produce “bath salts.”  Sold under names such as “Ivory Wave”, “Purple Wave”, “Vanilla Sky” or “Bliss”, state leaders say the substances can mimic the effects of cocaine, LSD, MDMA and/or methamphetamine.

“Criminalizing the sale and possession of these designer drugs will hopefully reverse their rising popularity and get them out of the hands of potential abusers,” said Markell.

This action will empower state law enforcement agencies to treat bath salts the same as other harmful illegal drugs, which means those who possess and, more importantly, those who sell bath salts will now face criminal penalties.

“Getting these dangerous substances out of stores and off the streets will make Delaware a safer place,” said Attorney General Beau Biden.  “Bath salts are dangerous drugs that have no place in our communities.”

Often smoked, snorted or injected, bath salts can cause impaired perception, hallucinations, reduced motor control, chest pains, disorientation, extreme paranoia, agitation, and violent episodes. They are also believed to have led to numerous suicides.

Increasingly popular among teens and young adults, bath salts are sold at places like tobacco shops, gas stations and head shops. The drug can also be bought on the internet.  The federal Food and Drug Administration has not approved these chemicals for human consumption or for medical use, and there is no oversight of their manufacture.

Both Pennsylvania and New Jersey have already banned bath salts.

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