Governor Jack Markell announced today the state will be moving to ban the dangerous stimulants commonly known "bath salts" to make them illegal in Delaware as soon as tomorrow.
The Controlled Substances Advisory Committee will hold an emergency meeting Friday, September 30, at the request of the Secretary of State, who seeks to exercise his authority to issue an immediate ban on the drugs. Title 16, Section 4713, states the Secretary of State shall place a substance in Schedule I if that substance has high potential for abuse and has no accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or lacks accepted safety for use in treatment under medical supervision.
Secretary of State Jeffrey Bullock will be taking an unprecedented step to immediately ban these substances for presenting a clear danger to the public. He plans to exercise his emergency authority to ban three synthetic chemical compounds used to produce "bath salts." Marketed under names such as "Ivory Wave", "Purple Wave", "Vanilla Sky" or "Bliss", these products are comprised of a class of chemicals which can mimic the effects of cocaine, LSD, MDMA and/or methamphetamine.
"We have every reason to make these drugs illegal," said Governor Jack Markell. "These drugs present a danger to public safety. They have no legitimate use and can cause incredible damage to the lives of the user and those around the user. Criminalizing the sale and possession of these designer drugs will hopefully reverse their rising popularity and get them out of the hands of potential abusers."
This action will empower state law enforcement agencies to treat bath salts the same as other harmful illegal drugs, which means those who possess and, more importantly, those who sell bath salts will now face criminal penalties.
"Getting these dangerous substances out of stores and off the streets will make Delaware a safer place," said Attorney General Beau Biden. "Bath salts are dangerous drugs that have no place in our communities."
Bath salts have become increasingly popular, particularly among teens and young adults, and are sold at places like tobacco shops, gas stations and head shops. The drug can also be bought on the internet. The federal Food and Drug Administration has not approved these chemicals for human consumption or for medical use, and there is no oversight of their manufacture.
Recently discovered data on three of the chemicals used to produce "bath salts" -- mephedrone, methylone, and methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) -- demonstrate that they have a high potential for abuse and currently have no accepted medical use in the United States.
Often smoked, snorted or injected, bath salts can cause impaired perception, hallucinations, reduced motor control, chest pains, disorientation, extreme paranoia, agitation, and violent episodes. They are also believed to have led to numerous suicides.
The Controlled Substances Advisory Committee meeting will take place at 1 p.m. at the Carvel State Office Building, Wilmington, 10th floor. Following the meeting, a news conference will be held at 2:00 p.m. in the Governor's Office, 12th floor, with the Governor, Secretary of State, and Attorney General Beau Biden.