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City Council to vote on emergency ordinance to ban bath salts

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Monday, October 24, 2011

Greer City Council will be voting on an emergency ordinance to ban bath salts Tuesday at its regular 6:30 p.m. meeting. Council’s action follows today’s South Carolina Board of Health and Environmental Control conference call to consider adopting federal standards regarding bath salts and synthetic marijuana.

The Greer city council’s ordinance would prohibit the advertisement, possession, use, purchase, or distribution of substituted cathinones (commonly called bath salts), synthetic cannabinoids, and other certain synthetic drugs.

Pending DHEC’s action today, its ban would be the first statewide of bath salts and synthetic marijuana. South Carolina law enforcement will have authority to enforce the ban on bath salts when DHEC approves the measure. Synthetic marijuana and other synthetic drugs are not considered for a national emergency ban.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration made possession of “bath salts” a violation of federal law immediately. Synthetic marijuana has previously been classified by the DEA as a scheduled I controlled substance.

Last Tuesday Greenville County Council passed an emergency ordinance banning bath salts, synthetic marijuana and other synthetic drugs. Violators will receive civil penalty tickets and may face a $500 fine.

Bath salts are described as a powdery substance that can be snorted, smoked or eaten for an amphetamine-like high. They have no relation to those placed in bathtubs.

Mephedrone, an ingredient of the drug, can cause hallucinations, paranoia, delusions and a rapid heart rate. Bath salts can damage the heart, brain and kidneys, according to the Greenville County ordinance.

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