Florida Bans 'Bath Salts'

AG files emergency rule on synthetic drug sold in c-stores, other retail outlets

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida attorney general Pam Bondi has announced the filing of an emergency rule that will add substances containing methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), a synthetic drug commonly known as "bath salts," to the schedule of controlled substances. The emergency ban, which took effect Wednesday, will last 90 days. It makes the sale or possession of the drug a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

Bondi was joined by Florida Department of Law Enforcement commissioner Gerald Bailey and Bay County Sheriff Frank McKeithen and other law [image-nocss] enforcement officials, as well as legislative leaders.

Sheriffs in Okaloosa, Walton and Bay counties had asked Bondi to rule on the drug, a stimulant that is often sold near energy drinks at convenience stores and in malls, head shops and other retailers, added a report by The Destin Log. It is sold under names such as Purple Rain, Ivory Wave, Pure Ivory, Vanilla Sky, Ocean Burst, Bolivian Bath, Cloud Nine, Boss, White Lightning and Super Coke.

The sheriffs issued a joint statement Tuesday urging retailers to stop selling the drug.

Officials said the drug, also referred to as "fake cocaine," can cause rapid heart rate, aggression, paranoia, increased blood pressure and eventually kidney failure.

"Due to the violent nature of the side effects involved in taking these drugs, the emergency rule will provide law enforcement with the tools necessary to take this dangerous substance off the shelves and protect the abusers from themselves as well as others," said Bondi. "These are dangerous drugs that should not be confused with any type of common bath product."

The substance is usually snorted although it can be smoked or swallowed. Reported side effects of MDPV include increased heart rate, nosebleeds, hallucinations, severe paranoia, seizures, and kidney failure.

Okaloosa County Sheriff Larry Ashley said his office will begin sending letters to businesses that sell the drug to inform them that it is now an illegal substance, according to the report.

Walton County deputies will begin seizing bath salts from stores that sell them, the report said. His office also will implement a "quick education program" to inform people that bath salts are now illegal before it takes any further action.

Click hereto view a copy of the emergency rule.