September 17, 2013

Harrisonville bans bath salts

“We recently found high school students on this stuff,” said Police Chief John Hofer.

Harrisonville has banned the sale and use of bath salts within city limits.

“This is something we do not really want to be selling in Harrisonville. It is very harmful for our children and adults,” Police Chief John Hofer told the Board of Aldermen, which unanimously passed the ban earlier this month. “We recently found high school students on this stuff.”

According to Hofer, illicit products are being marketed as “bath salts” that consist of synthetic substitutes that mimic the effects of amphetamines, cocaine, ecstasy and other illegal drugs. Users can experience severe reactions resulting in unconsciousness, seizures, hospitalization, and in some reported cases, death, Hofer said.

And use of bath salts is incerasing nationwide. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, the number of calls related to bath salt exposure received by poison control centers across the country rose more than twenty-fold in 2011 — to 6,138 from 304 calls in 2010.

Despite being labeled as “not for human consumption,” Hofer said, bath salts are being marketed as legal and safer alternatives to illegal drugs.

He said at least four Harrisonville businesses were selling the product.

The ordinance, drafted by City Attorney Steve Mauer, was written in a way that keeps the ban in effect even if purveyors alter the product, Hofer said.

“Every time they come up with a new state law or an ordinance, they change the ingredients of it so it makes it legal,” said Hofer.

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