The nation’s capital becomes the latest to outlaw synthetic marijuana and bath salts after a bill, restricting the drugs in the District, had been passed on Thursday, the Washington Times reports.
“They are completely invented and manufactured without any regulation, without any quality control, with nothing,” said D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary, which forwarded a bill Thursday to restrict the drugs in the District. “At least with a natural ingredient, you know what it is. Whereas with synthetics you have not a clue what it is and it’s sold [as] incense – and the person can kill themselves.”
Mendelson said that for the past three years, the District has been considering various bills to ban the substances which have been luring many teenagers, who want to get a quick “high,” because of their off-the-shelf accessibility.
So far, more than 40 states have legislatively banned synthetic marijuana and bath salts, the chemically engineered substances similar to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana. The drugs are usually sniffed or snorted and can cause rapid heartbeat, paranoia, hallucinations, and violent behavior.
On July 9, 2012, President Obama signed into law the Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act of 2012 which adds mephedrone, mdpv (commonly found in Bath Salts), cannabimimetic agents, and nine synthetic pyschedelics to the federal controlled substances act.