What is being done about “Bath Salt” sales in New York

New York is taking steps to stop the sale of “Bath Salts” in head shops around the State.  Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced that his office filed 12 lawsuits across the State of New York.  During investigations, the Attorney Generals Office discovered that head shops were illegally selling and promoting dangerous synthetic drugs.

The designer drug, commonly known as “bath salts” or “synthetic marijuana,” came into the spot light after a incident involving a homeless man a few weeks back.  The attacker was thought to be on this drug when he attacked and ate the homeless mans face.  Recent tests have confirmed that the attacker was not on this drug.  Following this incident, however, many news outlets have brought the designer drug to the forefront, and many feared a “Zombie Apocalypse.”

What makes this drug different than other drugs available is that it provides the user with psychoactive effects similar to those in substances obtained for illegal drug use, but these products are typically packaged with innocuous names and bright graphics to give the misleading impression that their use is harmless so they are being sold in head shops around the State.

What is really scary is that the Attorney Generals Office discovered that head shop employees were actually providing tutorials on how to use dangerous intoxicants and labeling these drugs with names like, ‘”MJ Blueberry Aromatic Potpourri”, “Bizarro,” “AMPED,” “VOODOO” or “Cali Crunch,” and marketing them with false descriptions such as “incense,” “butterfly attractant,” “glass cleaner,” “potpourri,” “sachets,” “dietary supplements,” or other common household products.”

Federal and State authorities have attempted to outlaw certain chemicals to remove these items from commerce, their efforts continue to fall short as the chemists and producers providing the products for head shops simply alter formulas and stay ahead of the legislation.

“Examples of the different types of reactions individuals have when under the influence of these dangerous concoctions take place throughout the state, include:

  • In Jefferson County, a 22-year-old man crashed into several cars in an Olive Garden parking lot then told police he had smoked “Spice” before driving.
  • In New York City, a 21-year-old film student leapt to his death off a Roosevelt Island balcony after smoking salvia, a hallucinogenic plant.
  • In Oneida County, a 45-year-old man high on bath salts and covered in his own blood was arrested after police say he chased his neighbor and trapped her in her home.”
For more about “bath salts” and what New York State is doing to keep them out of consumers hands go to: http://www.ag.ny.gov/press-release/ag-schneiderman-announces-12-lawsuits-against-head-shops-across-state-illegally

3 comments

  1. Where there is a will to use drugs, someone somewhere will find a way to circumvent the drug laws. The spread of Bath Salt sales is just another example of this. Yes, the law is adapting to cope with this new problem, but it is only a matter of time before another way around the law is discovered by people only concerned with lining their own pockets no matter what the effects of the drugs they sell. As shown by the examples given above, the effects of these drugs can be severe. Many are actually labeled “Not For Human Consumption.” Most people using drugs like Bath Salts have no idea what they are taking, leading in many instances to serious health consequences. While I am glad to see the State doing something to combat sales of these drugs, I am certain that not far from now there will be a new drug threat to deal with.

  2. I agree with Lindsay that designer drugs are becoming a serious problem not only in the state of New York where this action is centered, but also on an international scale. The fact that these head shops were not only selling such products, but also giving demonstrations on their use, is particularly alarming. As such, I personally applaud the New York State Attorney General’s actions here, not only in bringing this suite, but also in seeking an injunction to prevent the sales of these products in stores while litigation is pending. This problem represents a national, and even international, health crisis and it must be dealt with accordingly and on a large scale. I can only hope that other states mimic New York’s actions and begin to crack down on this dangerous threat.

  3. I completely agree with Louis. People will always find a way to circumvent drug laws. The scariest part of selling these drugs in head shops, as stated above, is that people have no idea what they are taking. When young adults see this type of thing being sold in head shops they assume it is legal and safe. Although people will always find a way to circumvent the drug laws, I think the best thing that has come out of all the news attention, is that people are aware of what this drug does. Yes, it may draw some into head shops searching for it, but many more will hopefully realize the severity of the drug and not be lead to believe it is harmless and to be take lightly.

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