Assembly Approves Braunstein's Bill to Impose Statewide Ban on Sales of "Fake Bath Salts"

Bill classifies stimulants found in bath salt products as controlled substances
June 20, 2011

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Assemblyman Edward C. Braunstein today announced the passage of legislation in the Assembly and Senate prohibiting the sale of bath salt products containing harmful stimulants that are being ingested by users to experience a “high” but which are also damaging to human health.

"The health problems associated with the use of bath salts as a recreational drug are very disturbing, and the state needs to pay attention to this public health issue," said Silver (D-Manhattan). “We need to crackdown on the sale of ‘fake bath salts’ so the manufacturers of these products can no longer put the health of our residents at risk."

"The consumption of fake bath salts not only poses a threat to one’s physical well-being, it can produce dangerous mental and emotional side effects as well," said Braunstein (D-Bayside). "There have been cases in other states where individuals who have snorted or injected these baths salts have committed violent crimes, including murder. Before this practice becomes a widespread problem in New York, these stimulants should be designated controlled substances by the state, regulated accordingly and banned from use in any consumer product."

“Health professionals have agreed with our law, my fellow Senators have supported it and now the state Assembly has passed this very important measure to protect consumers from dangerous and mislabeled products,” said State Senator Joseph A. Griffo (R-C-IP, Rome) said. “This is a very narrowly constructed law that does not alter the sales of legitimate bath salts, but makes the chemicals in products wrongly labeled as bath salts controlled substances that will not be available.”

The bill (A.4769-Braunstein/S.3322-Griffo) would prohibit the sale and distribution of bath salts containing 4-Methylmethcathinone, also known as Mephedrone, and Methylenedioxypyrovalerone. The measure also would classify these stimulants as controlled substances.

Throughout the state and nation there are reports that individuals who have ingested bath salts containing these substances have experienced serious medical problems, including extreme paranoia, hallucinations, delusions, hypertension, headaches and suicidal thoughts.

Silver and Braunstein also noted that the legislation does not outlaw genuine bath salts, and several other states and countries have banned fake bath salts, including Florida, North Dakota, Louisiana, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.