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Suffolk Legislature Bans Sale of Tainted Bath Salts

Legislators claim the product sold at convenience stores is actually synthetic cocaine.

The Suffolk County Legislature banned the sale of chemicals found in some bath salts on Tuesday, resulting in a product it determined was "powdered synthetic cocaine" and has been ingested as a hallucinogen. 

Sale of such bath salts has already been banned in Louisiana, North Dakota, and Florida, as well as other local municipalities, according to the county, and several others are considering the ban.

While the synthetic chemicals are most commonly found in and marketed as bath salts, they can also be found in other products that "manufacturers make with a wink of an eye," said the sponsor of the bill that calls for the ban.

"We're not banning bath salts at all, per se," said Jon Cooper, D-Huntington. "We are banning the chemical compounds, that's the best way to describe it. Because the manufacturer will call it a bath salt, or pond scum remover, or deodorizer. But what it is, is a drug."

The text of the resolution states that active synthetic ingredients in bath salts include methylone, mephedrone, and MDPV, among others, some of which bear similarities to ingredients extracted from the khat plant, an African plant with a similar stimulant effect as cocaine.

Cooper said that as a legislator eight years ago, he penned the nation's first bill to ban ephedra. Eight months later, he said, it was banned on the federal level. 

"I'm hoping to see something similar to that," he said. "Because these chemicals are synthetically produced and relatively new, they have fallen under the radar screen."

Bath salts not including the harmful chemicals are exempt from the ban.

The measure passed by a unanimous 18-0 vote.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy has not yet signed the bill into law. 

Walter Keenan May 01, 2011 at 04:50 AM
@ Brad - I hear you to an extent, surly it is a knee jerk reaction to agree with you. However why should I or any other tax payer be responsible to pay for a school employee to be drug tested to help insure my child is getting the best possible care that can be offered? If you want to stay employed pay $20 and pee in the cup. It is not like they are asking for daily drug tests that you have to pay for. If you don't like it find another job, my taxes are high enough I don't need to carry the cost of proving school employees are not buying and using illegal drugs.
Joan Bueter August 14, 2012 at 04:09 PM
I absolutely do NOT agree with allowing the police force to get tougher. They are already a gang in blue and have WAY more power than they need. Further, removing laws that limit parental and school authority is a disastrous idea. Those regulations are in place to protect children from abuse. We have been lied to over and over again about drugs for generations so it is no wonder that kids don't believe the lies. Banning more things that could be dangerous is an effort in futility akin to banning cars and bathtubs. Anyway we need to stop lying to kids and treating them like they are stupid. Kids should be trained to stay away from drugs the same way that they are trained to be afraid of fire and electricity. Perhaps it's the parents that need more training. As Brad points out heroin is cheap and readily available so we know that those laws are a dismal failure, the same as the marijuana laws. The problem is not with kids taking the drugs but the reason that they WANT them. Where is the money for those programs?? The politicians have so many more important issues to deal with but leave them lying forgotten on the table while they are banning bath salts to keep their constituents believing that they are doing something useful to earn their bloated salaries.
Joan Bueter August 14, 2012 at 04:15 PM
Yeah, why don't we just drug test EVERYBODY?? You people are living in a dream world where you believe politicians can solve every problem by passing laws. Drug testing unless there is probable cause is invasive and another erosion of our rights. If you test for drugs you should also test for alcohol, tobacco and mental stability. Where does it end? When do people start taking personal responsibility for their actions and stop demanding invasive and costly laws to protect them from themselves? Grow up people.
Joan Bueter August 14, 2012 at 04:20 PM
tesmith You seem to be the only voice of sanity here. People always want to take the easy way and demand that politicians make ever more bad laws to address the symptom instead of the cause. The causes demand self evaluation and who wants to go there? You are absolutely correct.
Joan Bueter August 14, 2012 at 04:21 PM
The Bible isn't going to fix the worlds problems. Mostly it just adds to them.

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