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Will Pack a Powerful One-Two Punch Along with Pending Legislation to Crackdown on the Dangerous Substance

Assembly members John F. McKeon and Linda Stender today praised the state Attorney General’s Office and the Division of Consumer Affairs for adding bath salts to the list of controlled dangerous substances, a move that will pack a powerful one-two punch along with legislation the lawmakers are sponsoring to combat the dangerously misleading substance.

McKeon and Stender announced plans in March to introduce legislation to crackdown on the dangerous practice of selling illegal drugs disguised as bath salts.

“This is a smart move to get these dangerous substances off the market immediately,” said McKeon (D-Essex). “I’m glad the Attorney General’s office and the Division of Consumer Affairs have moved quickly to address the problem. I’m looking forward to introducing our legislation next week so we can codify the measure into law and ensure that stiff penalties are in place.”

“It’s truly unnerving the way these substances were slipped onto the market disguised as ‘bath salts,'” said Stender (D-Middlesex/Somerset/Union). “Given the dangerous and deadly side effects that have been reported, it is comforting to see the Attorney General and Consumer Affairs acting swiftly to address the issue. While this will get it off the market immediately, our legislation will help ensure that stiff penalties are in place for anyone selling or buying the substance.”

The measure, which McKeon and Stender are expected to introduce next Thursday, would criminalize the possession and sale of products containing narcotic substances such as mephedrone or methylenedioxpyrovalerone, commonly known as MDPV that are being sold over the counter as “bath salts” and are easily available at gas stations, convenience stores or head shops.

It would make it a crime of the third degree in New Jersey to manufacture, distribute, dispense, or possess products containing mephedrone or methylenedioxypyrovalerone. The offense would be punishable by a three to five year term of imprisonment, a $15,000 fine or both.

Some of the after affects of using these products, which are believed to be highly addictive, include high blood pressure, increased heart rate, agitation, hallucinations, extreme paranoia, delusions, and suicidal thoughts.

Users experience an intense high, extreme energy, hallucinations, insomnia and are easily provoked to anger, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which is currently investigating the drugs.

These products have emerged as legal alternatives to cocaine and methamphetamines, and one or both have already been banned in the European Union, Australia, Canada, and Israel.

In the United States, Florida, Louisiana and North Dakota have all recently banned the substances.