Governor Andrew Cuomo announced yesterday that the New York State Department of Health has issued new regulations to crack down on bath-salt abuse, and the use of other synthetic drugs — which is great; as we’ve documented, bath salts have a tendency to turn people into blood-thirsty maniacs.
The problem, however, is that the penalties for those who violate the ban don’t have a lot of teeth — violators face a fine of up to $500 and the possibility of up
to 15 days in jail.
As we noted yesterday, we have a feeling that if you’re at a place in your life where you’ve resorted to using bath salts to get high, a mere 15 days in the hoosegow probably isn’t the end of the world.
We’ve all seen how (ahem) successful the “War on Drugs” has been, and with useless solutions to a serious problem, the war on synthetic drugs seems as though it will suffer a similar fate.
The problem with “punishing” bath salt users is that it does nothing to prevent people from getting their hands on bath salts — they are easy to attain on the Internet and in various “head shops” across the country. Nor does it do anything to let people know that taking bath salts could potentially lead to cannibalism — and other serious health issues.
Technically, synthetic drugs are legal. However, federal and state laws require that “all consumer commodities, at a minimum, be labeled to describe net contents, identity of the product, and the name and place of business of the product’s manufacturer, packer, and distributor.”
In other words, the only way a bath-salt distributor will get in trouble for selling drugs that potentially turn people into cannibals is by calling it “incense,” or some other misleading name — which apparently happens fairly frequently.
Granted, outlawing the sale of bath salts will likely lead to an even blacker market for the drug, but it would at least make it tougher to get than simply clicking a few buttons on the web — when it’s that easy, people tend to think the drugs aren’t that bad.
If you ask us, until laws are changed to prevent the sale of bath salts — and people realize that the drug could potentially turn them into cannibals — the Zombie Apocalypse is still upon us.
We want to know what you think, though: will Cuomo’s ban do anything to curb bath salt use?