Retailers selling synthetic drugs commonly known as bath salts can now lose their retail licenses for up to a year under legislation passed last session by the General Assembly.
The man-made drugs are often sold disguised as bath salts, insect repellents or even plant food. The legislature first dealt with the issue in 2011. But manufacturers found a way to alter the substances and skirt the law.
Anderson Democratic Representative Terri Austin, a co-author of this year’s bill, says the 2012 legislation helps remedy that by giving the Board of Pharmacy emergency rule making authority.
“As these compounds may get changed and folks find a way to create another loophole and exploit it, that the Board of Pharmacy, upon notice, will be able to basically close that loophole,” she says.
Austin says law enforcement around the state are working to make parents, teachers, school administrators and retailers aware of what substances are now banned. And she says if people are uncertain whether something is legal, they should bring it to the police.
“The last thing we want is for folks to flush these down the toilet or down the sink. We do not want this in our water treatment system.”
Retailers convicted of selling the drugs will have their licenses suspended for a year… and if their shop is within a thousand yards of a school, public park, family housing complex or youth center, it becomes a Class C-felony, which can include between two and eight years in jail.