by Craig Guillot Jun 14 2011
At Crossroads Corner store in Salem, Missouri, owner John Watson often identifies those looking to get high from so-called “bath salts.” They’re jittery, nervous, and usually ask if the salts he carries are “the stuff.”
That “stuff” is receiving attention from both medical professionals who are seeing increased health problems caused by snorting or smoking the compound and from legislators who are working to get it banned from the marketplace.
Watson doesn’t deal in the products, and he doesn’t like the fact that shady companies are making potent legal drugs and marketing them as “bath salts.” According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, people are snorting, eating, and injecting these products to achieve some of the same effects as meth or cocaine.
In the past year, police nationwide attribute a growing number of violent incidents to bath salts. There was the murder-suicide in Seattle, a high-speed chase in North Carolina, and the man dressed in women’s lingerie who killed a goat in West Virginia. Lawmakers are struggling to keep pace. Ten states this year passed legislation banning the drug, and 24 others—including New York earlier this month—used executive orders to stop sales. Two Pennsylvania congressmen are seeking federal legislation to do the same.