Synthetic marijuana, bath salts banned from all Illinois stores

Potentially deadly drugs marketed as “synthetic marijuana” and “bath salts” were banned from all Illinois stores beginning on Jan. 1, due to legislation supported by State Rep. Brandon Phelps, D-Harrisburg, which was approved in 2011.

“I can’t begin to tell you how many calls I have received throughout the year from local sheriffs and police officers who have came across individuals who are high on bath salts or K2,” Phelps said in a news release.

“These ‘bath salts’ are not meant to be used for bathing; they are designed to be a drug that causes LSD-like hallucinations. They are featured on many websites claiming their use will give you a ‘legal high,’ without mentioning the serious health consequences of taking the drug.

“It is also such a new drug that many users don’t understand how deadly and addictive these bath salts can be.”

Public Act 97-0192 adds MDPV (“bath salts”) to the Illinois’ list of Schedule I controlled substances, which includes any drugs or other substances that have a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in the United States and have a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.

Other drugs on this list include methamphetamine, heroin and ecstasy.

Public Act 97-0193 bans the synthetic marijuana product known as “K2” or “Spice” in Illinois.

The drug is made by adding a dangerous chemical mix to herbal incense and smoking it, creating an effect similar to marijuana.

The Illinois ban coincides with a federal ban on the chemical compound used in making the drug.

Though the new law will get K2 off the shelves at retail stores, Phelps stressed the need for lawmakers to stay vigilant in addressing new synthetic narcotics.

“Making our children aware of the dangers of drugs and addiction starts at home, which is why I strongly urge parents and guardians to talk with their kids about those drugs,” Phelps said.

“The potent mix of chemicals involved in making these drugs presents a significant danger to any user. As of the first of the year, all stores will be legally required to remove this form of synthetic drug from the shelves.”

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