Baltimore City Wants to Ban Sale of Bath Salts, Synthetic Marijuana

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(photo: Council on Chemical Abuse)
(photo: Council on Chemical Abuse)

Baltimore City Health Commissioner Leana Wen has been rolling out new programs and policies that address heroin addiction over the past few months. On Monday, the City opened a new front against synthetic drugs.

Synthetic marijuana and bath salts have many labels, such as K2, Spice, Mojo and even potpourri and herbal incense. The labels initially disguised their ingredients, which aren’t illegal drugs, but also get people high. That allowed them to avoid the FDA, and be sold at corner stores. But as the health risks — and potential zombifying effects

— associated with them have become more widespread, officials have looked to ban them, too.

On Monday, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Wen will introduce a bill that aims to get the drugs off the street in Baltimore. The bill would prohibit distribution, and allows for any drug suspected of being synthetic to be seized.

The city is also handing out signs for synthetic drug-free store owners to post reading, “Not A Drug Dealer.” That’s an effort to raise public awareness.

“These products are marketed as being ‘natural’ and ‘safe’ but they are anything but, and they should not be available in our corner stores, gas stations, and throughout our city,” Wen said in a statement. “By working with Baltimore’s businesses, we can help keep these dangerous drugs out of our communities.”

The bill requires City Council approval.

Stephen Babcock

Stephen Babcock is the editor of Baltimore and an editor-at-large of Baltimore Fishbowl.

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