Harrisonville works to ban bath salts - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Harrisonville works to ban bath salts

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HARRISONVILLE, MO (KCTV) -

Harrisonville, MO, passed an ordinance to ban synthetic substitutes that mimic amphetamines, cocaine, ecstasy and other illegal drugs.

The chief of police wrote a letter to three businesses known for selling bath salt products. Officers hand-delivered the letter and a copy of the new ordinance to each business owner. It warns the store owners to stop selling the bath salts or police will take action.

Synthetic drugs are called many names including bath salts, pump it, diablo and many more. No matter what they are called, Harrisonville city leaders want to make them all illegal.

"Unfortunately we've dealt with some of our local high school students that have used this and been under the influence," said Lt. Michael Prindle.

No matter the form - powder, crystal, liquid or tablet - if the product can be used as a synthetic stimulant, it affects the central nervous system and is illegal in Harrisonville.

"Our state lawmakers have struggled with keeping up with drug trends because it takes time to change a law," Prindle said.

Missouri lawmakers passed legislation to ban synthetic drugs like K2, but chemists and drug designers changed their formulas to get around the law.

"Those chemists and drug designers change the name to keep us looking for it. They are trying to stay a step ahead," Prindle said.

Police officers said Harrisonville's ordinance is comprehensive in an effort to prevent loopholes.

"Anything that creates an illegal drug effect, that is what this ordinance covers," Prindle said.

Officers said those who sell the products know they aren't being used for their intended purpose. They say users ignore warnings on packages that say, "not for human consumption."

"Unfortunately we've dealt with a few kids who have had hallucinations. We've also dealt with young people who have been under the influence driving using bath salts. That's extremely dangerous because it is a quick, violent high," Prindle said.

The ordinance specifically says just because a product says "not for human consumption" does not exempt a person from enforcement.

If a business owner is found violating the ordinance, their business license can be revoked. Anyone convicted of using or possessing bath salts could face a $500 fine or up to 90 days in jail.

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