Florida Lawmakers Discuss The Growing "Bath Salts" Problem

By: Alexandra Hill Email
By: Alexandra Hill Email

Bay County - MDPV is the active ingredient in so-called “bath salts.” When ingested, the psychoactive drug's effects can be 10 to15 times more potent than meth and cocaine.

The drug is currently legal to sell and possess in the state of Florida.

Louisiana is the only state to ban bath salts.

"The reality is the chemicals that are used to make these dangerous substances have no legitimate use other than to provide a high for their users. Make no mistake these are dangerous drugs, very dangerous drugs. We must get them off our streets,” said Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.

But there is now talk of a potential ban.

"Although it is legal, it seems as deadly as some of the harder drugs that are facing our young people. So at this point, yes I would say I would support it,” said District 7 Representative Marti Coley when asked about a potential ban in Florida.

"We need to give our law enforcement officers the opportunity to arrest these idiots,” said District 5 Representative Brad Drake.

"This stuff is going to be bad for the area. It's going to be bad for public safety. But as we delve into it, if it requires some type of legislative action I’ll be happy to look into it,” said District 6 Representative Jimmy Patronis.

On Thursday, Bay County Sheriff Frank McKeithen hand-delivered cease and desist letters, requesting area businesses immediately remove the product from their shelves.

"One of the things I’d like to do is at least put some kind of injunction on the sale and distribution of it until there are some medical studies done on it to actually see what's causing the medical issues with it,” McKeithen said.

The problem is timing. Spring Break is rapidly approaching.

"A gun by itself is harmless, but a gun in the wrong hands could kill you. It’s the same thing as these products,” McKeithen said.

Since the Legislature doesn't meet until March, it would take an executive order from the governor's office.

Patronis said he's working with McKeithen on a letter to Attorney General Pam Bondi that may provide an immediate emergency solution.

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