Bath salts ban: Designer drug said to be the blame of 'zombie-like' attacks may be banned in Sunrise

SUNRISE, Fla. — Psychoactive bath salts — the kind people snort to get high — may soon be outlawed in Sunrise.

The designer drug sold under names like Vanilla Sky, Star Dust and Purple Wave can cause dangerous side effects, including panic attacks, dangerous hallucinations, paranoia, psychosis, high blood pressure and increased heart rate, anxiety, kidney failure, heart failure, increased hostility and an intense desire to use the drug again.

On Tuesday, commissioners gave tentative approval to the ban. A final vote is expected in July.

Sunrise Mayor Mike Ryan says the city is moving forward with its own ban because attempts by federal and state officials to outlaw the chemicals used to make bath salts have failed. The manufacturers simply change the chemicals to skirt the law.

"Those who manufacture and sell these dangerous cocktails of poisons are endangering not only those who take them, but also the public, police officers responding to calls and fire-rescue personnel called to help," Ryan said.

Exposure to bath salts resulted in 304 calls to poison control centers across the nation in 2010; 6,138 calls in 2011; and 1,007 calls in the first four months of this year, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers.

On June 12, Sunrise became the first city in Broward to ban sythnetic marijuana. All 19 stores selling fake weed in Sunrise pulled the packets from shelves in anticipation of the ban, city officials say.

Anyone caught selling bath salts in Sunrise would get a code violation and be required to appear before a special magistrate.

The Sunrise ban does not outlaw the sale of legitimate bath salts, but targets the designer drug popular with teens and young adults.

A 6-pound bag of Epsom salts sells for $5 at the grocery store. Bath salts that get you high sell for $40 a gram. They are snorted, swallowed and sometimes smoked.


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