Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law last week a bill introduced by state Assemblyman Edward Braunstein, D-Bayside, that would ban the sale of “fake bath salts,” which can be used as recreational drugs.
Braunstein said the salts can produce a high, but that they have dangerous side effects.
“Deceptive labeling and marketing of these bath salts has led to incredibly dangerous consequences in New York and the rest of the country,” the assemblyman said. “With this new law, the state has recognized and responded to these sinister products by establishing these bath salts as controlled substances.”
He said there have been cases in other states where individuals who have snorted or injected these bath salts have committed violent crimes, including murder.
Cuomo said the salts have become an alternative to methamphetamine use.
“They are a growing danger to public health and today’s signing to ban these products is a critical step towards ridding New York of these harmful drugs,” the governor said.
The bill would not prohibit the sale of genuine bath salts.
Braunstein said the “fake” salts can cause serious mental problems, including hallucinations, extreme paranoia, delusions and hypertension, headaches and suicidal thoughts.
Several states and nations have imposed their own bans, including Florida, North Dakota, Louisiana, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.
“These dangerous substances have been abused and have caused serious health problems and sometimes death,” U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY, said.