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Senator Schumer on federal bath salts ban

Ellen Abbott
WRVO News file photo

The market for a drug that has exploded onto the scene this year could soon be closed.  Federal legislation could help lead to the end of bath salts, synthetic marijuana and other synthetic hallucinogens on the streets today.

US Senator Charles Schumer expects President Obama to sign the legislation that bans bath salts and other deadly synthetic substances.  It's already passed the Senate and the House.

As part of a Food and Drug Administration bill, the proposed law would add 31 substances to the list of illegal controlled substances in this country. Schumer says the exhaustive list should make this law effective.

"The good news about our legislation is that it doesn't just ban one specific chemical compound, but a whole broad range of what's called opioids. So they won't be able to come up with a new one.  So we won't be playing whack a mole, where you get rid of one and they come up with another,"  said Schumer

The fight against these drugs has been difficult because street dealers change their chemical composition just as authorities start to crack down.

Bath salts have been responsible for several high profile violent and bizarre behaviors across the country and in Central New York. The drugs mimic the worst part of the effects of cocaine and methamphetamines. Some users have died after overdosing or because of violent behavior. That includes a Madison County woman who died while police were trying to subdue her. Authorities say she was high on bath salts at the time.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.