Attleboro state Rep. George Ross' legislation to ban the sale of so-called bath salts, a dangerous drug rising in popularity in the United States, recently passed the state House of Representatives. The proposed prohibition is before the Senate.
The drug, which should not be confused with the cleaning product of the same name, contains various amphetamine-like chemicals and is typically administered orally, by inhalation or by injection, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The federal Drug Enforcement Administration temporarily banned three of the ingredients frequently found in bath salts in September, and a permanent ban is possibly in the works. But the drug can still be found in convenience stores, smoke shops and on the Internet, according to various media reports.
Users of bath salts have reported "impaired perception, reduced motor control, disorientation, extreme paranoia, and violent episodes," according to the DEA. Use of the drug may have been what caused a man in South Florida to strip naked and eat 80 percent of another man's face before being shot to death by police.
"I am pleased that the House of Representatives has acted upon this important piece of legislation," said Ross, according to a press release from his office. "The ingredients found in this hallucinogen produce a potentially dangerous narcotic that is now readily available to anyone in our commonwealth. In passing this legislation, the House has joined me in taking a proactive approach to this growing epidemic. We must act before it is too late and someone loses their life."
Ross' legislation would classify bath salts as a Class C drug. His proposal was attached to Rep. Louis Kafka's (D-Stoughton) methamphetamines bill.
"It has been a pleasure working with my friend, Rep. Ross, to update the commonwealth's criminal statutes," said Kafka, according to the release. "If passed by the Senate, House Bill 2220 will provide police and prosecutors with the tools necessary to combat the trafficking of methamphetamines, highly addictive and dangerous stimulants and to deal with the proliferation of bath salts.”