Landrum bans bath salts

Published 6:00 pm Friday, September 16, 2011

The term “bath salts” no longer represents a quiet moment of relaxation. In some circles, bath salts represent a dangerous way to get high, one that police departments and paramedics are combating on an increasingly regular basis.
Lt. Tim Edgens of the Landrum Police Department asked Landrum’s City Council Tuesday, Sept. 13 to ban the sale or possession of the substances within city limits.
Edgens said most officers on Landrum’s police force hadn’t even heard of the substances until a call came in about an out-of-control individual earlier this summer.
“EMS was trying to figure out what to do to calm him down so we had to ask him what he was on… we didn’t even know what it was when his friends told us,” Edgens said. “When people use this it kind of has the same effects as PCP – it makes a wild man out of a person.”
One council member asked if Epsom salts were included, but Edgens explained that this substance was not similar to traditional bath salts at all. He said these “bath salts” had no actual relation to the type of salts used in spas or home bathrooms.
“Some chemist has come up with a cocktail of different chemicals that they can call bath salts and sell it legally, but actually what people are doing is snorting them, smoking them, injecting them,” Edgens said.
Edgens said he’s discovered the synthetic product is being sold in a few local convenience stores. He said although the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has banned three of the chemicals used to make the products, enforcing such a vague restriction is almost impossible for local law enforcement.
Mayor Robert Briggs encouraged council to approve the ban within Landrum.
“What cities are doing in response to there being a lack of a law is to pass an ordinance banning the stuff,” Mayor Briggs said. “We don’t need our young children especially being able to get their hands on this stuff.”
Landrum City Council members passed such an ordinance Tuesday, Sept. 13 in a unanimous vote.
Edgens said the next step is for the police department to send out a notice to local stores to remove the product from their shelves.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox