South Carolina has become the 28th state to ban synthetic marijuana marketed as bath salts. Some, including many youths, snorted, injected, and smoked the so-called bath salts. The bath salts have gained national attention after deaths, hospitalizations, and a federal Drug Enforcement Administration ban on some of their ingredients.
South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has labeled the salts as a schedule 1 drug, meaning possession or sale can subject users or sellers to arrest.
The banned bath salts, unlike the salts actually used for bathing, are labeled as bath salts to avoid attention from legal authorities. The salts contain various combinations of methylenedioxypyrovalerone, mephedrone, and methylone cannaboids. Traditional bath salts sold in grocery stores and malls do not contain these controlled substances.
Normally, such bans in South Carolina are done through legislation. The DHEC imposed the new rule in an attempt to quickly meet growing public concern. Where police officers previously could only charge individuals with disorderly conduct, those found with the bath salts will now be subject to felony charges and up to 15 years of jail time and up to $5,000 in fines.