United States Senator Charles E. Schumer announced Thursday that the U.S. Senate passed a bill that would make synthetic marijuana and the chemical compounds found in bath salts illegal in the United States. Passed as part of the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act, Schumer and Senate colleagues were able to overcome a filibuster threat that has held up passage of the bipartisan legislation for months.
“Let this be a warning to those who make a profit manufacturing and selling killer chemical components to our teens and children: the jig is up,” said Schumer. “This bill closes loopholes that have allowed manufacturers to circumvent local and state bans and ensures that you cannot simply cross state lines to find these deadly synthetic drugs.”
Schumer’s bill would take the chemicals the DEA has identified within synthetic marijuana products and place them as Schedule I narcotics with other deadly drugs like heroin and LSD. It would close loopholes that have made the spread of synthetic marijuana almost impossible to stop because manufacturers tweak the chemical compounds to create products that are not technically covered under existing bans. The legislation casts a wide net over existing synthetic marijuana products and other possible chemical combinations, ensuring that simple chemistry could not result in new products that fall outside of existing bans.
In addition to banning synthetic marijuana, Schumer’s legislation also ban MDPV (methylenedioxypyrovalerone) and mephedrone, the active ingredients in bath salts. ‘bath salts,’ and are now being sold online, at convenience stores, and in smoke shops under names like Tranquility, Zoom, Ivory Wave, Red Dove and Vanilla Sky. According to numerous reports, the chemicals found in these bath salts and plant foods cause effects similar to those caused by cocaine and Methamphetamines, including hallucinations, paranoia, and suicidal thoughts. In one case a user was reported to have resorted to self-mutilation after abusing the substance. In several cases, users have died after overdosing or because of violent behavior.
Synthetic marijuana products like ‘Legal Phunk,’ ‘Spice,’ and other brands, and bath salts like Tranquility, Zoom, Ivory Wave, Red Dove and Vanilla Sky, are openly being sold on local store counters, smoke shops and convenience stores under the guise of incense or potpourri. The products can often be found near college campuses.
According to emergency room doctors, the chemical compounds found in synthetic marijuana can produce intense highs which may lead to seizures, hallucinations, high blood pressure, rapid heart rate, and panic attacks. These products are also known to cause erratic behavior and may lead to the injury or death of the user. The chemicals in bath salts have been found to cause symptoms similar to cocaine and Methamphetamines, including hallucinations, paranoia, and suicidal thoughts. In one case a user was reported to have resorted to self-mutilation after abusing the substance. In several cases, users have died after overdosing or because of violent behavior.