Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bondi makes possession of fake 'bath salts' drug a felony

TALLAHASSEE — The white powder marketed as bath salts under names like Ivory Wave, Vanilla Sky and Purple Rain mimics cocaine and LSD when snorted. And as of Wednesday, it's illegal in Florida.

Attorney General Pam Bondi issued an emergency rule that makes possession or distribution of the powder a third-degree felony punishable by one to five years behind bars. The rule will remain in place for 90 days, and legislators plan to pass a law making the substance illegal permanently.

Until now, the packets of powder have been sold in convenience stores and head shops. They contain a chemical called methylenedioxypyrovalerone, or MDPV. Side effects include increased heart rate, nosebleeds, hallucinations, severe paranoia, seizures and kidney failure. It's typically sold in 500 milligram packets for about $35.

Bay County Sheriff Frank McKeithen said users usually ingest 10 milligrams or less, but some are consuming entire packets.

In one case, a man under the influence who had ingested the drug displayed near "superhuman strength" and required seven officers to subdue him, McKeithen said.

"He literally tore the radar unit out of the vehicle with his teeth," McKeithen said.

In another instance, a woman tried to chop her mother's head off with a machete, thinking she was a monster, he said.

Bondi said she wanted to get the emergency order in place before spring breakers hit Panhandle beaches, where use of the substance is prevalent.

"It also makes you think that you can fly and there are a lot of balconies out there," Bondi said as she held up packets of the stuff.

She wants the powder classified as a schedule 1 controlled substance, putting it in the same class as cocaine and heroin. Plans call for either adding the product to existing bills that would ban fake marijuana or introducing standalone legislation.

"This product is simply up to no good," said Senate President Mike Haridopolos. "We need to act quickly to make sure kids are protected."

Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey said word is going out to sellers that the fake bath salts, supposedly manufactured in China, need to come off the shelves.

Janet Zink can be reached at jzink@sptimes.com or (850) 224-7263.

Bondi makes possession of fake 'bath salts' drug a felony 01/26/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 26, 2011 6:49pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays exhausted but happy after 15-inning win over Twins (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — The Rays sure made it interesting Sunday, taking an early lead, watching their beleaguered bullpen blow it, rallying to tie in the ninth, battling the Twins to take a lead in the 14th then giving it up again.

    The Rays’ Evan Longoria enjoys a laugh after scoring, barely, to tie it in the ninth on Steven Souza Jr.’s two-out single.
  2. Tom Jones' Two Cents: ABC's Indy 500 coverage is stellar again

    TV and Radio

    Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Takuma Sato left, celebrates after winning the Indianapolis 500 as Helio Castroneves is a little late passing him. ABC’s coverage of the race is stellar throughout, with plenty of extras but no fake drama.
  3. Takuma Sato surprise winner of wreck-filled Indy 500

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Takuma Sato, a journeyman driver, became the first Japanese winner of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday when he held off three-time champion Helio Castroneves in a 230-mph wheel-rubbing duel to the finish.

    Scott Dixon’s car goes over the top of Jay Howard, soaring so high that Helio Castroneves drove under it while it was airborne. Stunningly, there were no serious injuries.
  4. South Korea military: North Korea fires unidentified projectile

    World

    SEOUL — North Korea launched a ballistic missile early today that flew 280 miles and landed in Japan's exclusive economic zone, the South Korean military and the Japanese government said.

    S. Korean President Moon Jae-in is assessing the launch.
  5. Rays blow lead, rally, blow lead, rally again to beat Twins in 15 (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — The Rays sure made it interesting Sunday, taking an early lead, watching their beleaguered bullpen blow it, rallying to tie in the ninth, battling the Twins to take a lead in the 14th then giving it up again.

    MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 28: Evan Longoria #3 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates scoring a run against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning of the game on May 28, 2017 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) 700010990