Governor Rauner signed Senate Bill 210, giving law enforcement another tool to curb the growing number of retailers selling synthetic drugs, popularly known as “bath salts.”
The new law targets the sale of these synthetic drugs by prohibiting retailers from selling, or offering for sale, any material that contains the “cathinone” chemical structure found in bath salts. Once the law takes effect on January 1, 2017, it will be a Class 3 felony if the Act is violated, which could result in a potential fine up to $150,000. In addition, units of local government may revoke a violator’s license.
Use of bath salts has been on the rise across the country for the last decade. It has been difficult for law enforcement to crack down on the bath salt epidemic, because in order to get around state and federal laws, manufacturers of synthetic drugs continue to modify their formulas.
Bath salts are chemically similar to amphetamines, cocaine, and MDMA, and they produce effects such as paranoia, hallucinations, increased sociability, panic attacks and excited delirium. So named because these substances are often sold disguised as common bath salts, they are frequently available in convenience stores, smoke shops and adult stores. Bath salts are known to be extremely addictive, and even deadly.