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Idaho latest state to consider 'bath salt' ban

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) _ Idaho will join a growing number of states
considering laws to ban sale or possession of a new synthetic drug
often marketed as ``bath salts.''
Debbie Field, director of the Idaho Office of Drug Policy, is
expected to introduce a bill Monday in the Idaho Legislature that
would ban the drugs now sold legally online and in drug
paraphernalia stores under brand names like ``Purple Wave'' and
``Ivory Wave.''
``This is not something you can buy at Bed Bath and Beyond,''
Field said. ``It causes hallucinogenic, suicidal thoughts.''
The so-called bath salts usually are snorted like cocaine but
also can be smoked and injected. The bill seeking to ban the
substances arrives less than a week after state lawmakers took up
legislation to outlaw chemicals used to make synthetic marijuana
called ``Spice.''
``Once ``Spice'' got banned, these bath salts took its place,''
Field said.
White House Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske issued a warning last week
about the powdered drug, which can produce a high similar to
cocaine, LSD or ecstasy. Synthetic stimulants in the powders have
sickened hundreds already this year, Kerlikowske warned.
A Mississippi sheriff's office has said the drugs are suspected
in an apparent overdose death there.
The ``bath salts'' drugs also are sometimes labeled as plant
food, contain the synthetic stimulants MDPV, or
3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone, and mephedrone. Those chemicals are
neither controlled by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration
nor approved for human consumption by the Food and Drug
Administration.
Hawaii, Michigan, Louisiana, Kentucky, North Dakota already are
considering legislation to ban the products.
In Florida, officials at the state's Poison Information Center
reported last week that a statewide ban on a synthetic designer
drug has led to a drop in calls about the substance.
In Idaho, police and the drug policy office met to discuss the
ramifications of the drug in the wake of recent hospitalizations.
``We have kids in intensive care units and emergency units,''
Field said. ``We're starting to see this a lot.''


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