Today (July 9), United States Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that President Obama has signed into law new drug legislation that will permanently ban the deadly chemical compounds marketed and sold as bath salts and incense in the New York State and the United States.
Schumer successfully fought to include three bills relating to synthetic substances – S. 409 (Bath Salts), S. 605 (Synthetic Marijuana) and S. 839 (Synthetic Hallucinogens) – as part of the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act. Schumer and his colleagues were able to pass this ban over the strenuous objections of Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and Schumer applauds President Obama today for his swift approval of the bill once it arrived at his desk for signature.
“President Obama’s swift approval of this federal ban is the final nail in the coffin for the legal sale of bath salts in smoke shops and convenient stores in New York State and throughout the rest of the country,” said Schumer. “This law will close loopholes that have allowed manufacturers to circumvent local and state bans and ensure that you cannot simply cross state lines to find these deadly bath salts, and I’m pleased that after a great deal of effort, it has become law. We have seen bath salts catalyze some of the most heinous crimes in recent months across Upstate New York, and the President’s signature ensures that the federal government can fight this scourge with a united front, across state lines and at our borders.”
Schumer’s bath salt legislation will specifically ban MDPV (methylenedioxypyrovalerone) and mephedrone, the active ingredients in bath salts and are now being sold online, at convenience stores, and in smoke shops under names like Tranquility, Zoom, Ivory Wave, Red Dove, Legal Phunk and Vanilla Sky.
According to numerous reports, the chemicals found in bath salts 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.
Schumer’s legislation will make bath salts illegal in the United States by adding the active ingredients, MDPV and mephedrone, to Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, which classifies drugs that are illegal and cannot be prescribed under any circumstances. In addition to MDPV and mephedrone, there are 29 other substances that Schumer’s bill bans.
Over the past year, New York State has seen a drastic increase in both the use and the occurrence of destructive incidents involving bath salts. This new federal ban will significantly curb the accessibility of this life-threatening scourge, the senator said.