Today, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee passed S. 409, the Combating Dangerous Synthetic Stimulants Act of 2011, a bill co-sponsored by Senator Herb Kohl that will work to reclassify dangerous substances and get them off store shelves. In many states throughout the nation, individuals are able to purchase and obtain hallucinogens which are disguised as bath salts. These drugs are illegal in Wisconsin, but are still available for purchase over the Internet and on the shelves in many states. This legislation would permanently ban the dangerous chemicals found in these products that have no legitimate purpose. It would treat these synthetic drugs like other banned narcotics such as methamphetamines and cocaine.
"It is appalling that people have such easy access to very harmful substances," Kohl said. "Wisconsin has outlawed these types of drugs but they are readily available on store shelves in other states and over the Internet. These substances are often abused and lead to many terrifying and dangerous results, including death. By banning these substances we can stop this high-risk behavior."
Synthetic hallucinogens have become increasingly popular throughout the country because they are widely available in stores and online. They have dangerous and long-lasting side effects, however, ranging from extreme paranoia to hypertension. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, poison control centers across the country have received nearly 3,500 calls about bath salts this year, up from 303 in 2010.