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Tuesday, December 20, 2011
The Case Against The Ban On ‘Bath Salts’ And Fake Marijuana
No one would suggest leaving potentially dangerous, untested drugs on the market. But an outright ban hinders valuable research on compounds that could hold clues to treatments for diseases like Alzheimer's.
Recently, the House passed legislation banning the synthetic stimulant drugs sold as “bath salts” or “plant food.” Easily bought online and in convenience stores in packets with labels like Ivory Wave or Blue Silk, the drugs have been associated with multiple hospitalizations and even death.
There has been little scientific study of the true risks of “bath salts,” which typically contain the drugs mephedrone or methylone. But anecdotally, they have been implicated in some scary outcomes. Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.), who sponsored the House bill, which passed 317 to 98 in October, told the Washington Post earlier this month that there have been “horrific stories of individuals high on synthetic drugs.” He gave two examples: one of a Pennsylvania man who stabbed a priest after taking bath salts and another of someone who had jumped out of a window while under the drug’s influence. The DEA has temporarily banned the sale of these products.