Update: The War on Bath Salts
Last we heard, Pennsylvania lawmakers were using a host of examples – a Pittston “zombie” couple who stabbed their walls and put their 5-year old daughter in danger, a Scranton man who stabbed a Reverend while he slept – as a means to ban the chemicals used in bath salts — a legal drug that’s being oh, so abused — and quickly. Philly State Senator Larry Farnese called for a ban to the stimulants and introduced a bill to the legislature that would take the stuff off shelves by summer. A number of towns are cracking down independent of state law. Now, U.S. Senator Bob Casey is doing one better: Temporarily ban the two active bath salt chemicals – MDPV and mephedrone – throughout the United States, allowing the Department of Health and Human Services a year to conduct some research and, hopefully, declare it out of stock for good.
According to an Inquirer article, Casey called for a ban earlier this month but in the wake of recent violence concerning the stuff, knee jerkiness seems more in order. Casey sent a letter to DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart yesterday, detailing his case, which includes a 2011 spike in poison control center calls in regards to bath salts – 298 in 2010; 1,196 in 2011, so far. (CHOP’s poison control center has reported 55 so far this year.) Casey’s earlier statement claimed “bath salts are dangerous substances being used like meth or cocaine” – which is true. Sen. Farnese has stated violent behavior is a side-effect of injecting or snorting the stuff.
Long story short, we’ve got a Four Loko situation on our hands. Bath salts aren’t easy to find in the city, but should you be into this sort of thing — and, really, why? — turn your piggy bank upside down, head to your nearest rural truck stop or bait shop and get your hands on some. Latest you’re going to be able to snort over-the-counter poison is upcoming shorts weather, or whenever the Legislature gets their act in order.