“As of Feb. 23, the manufacture, distribution and possession of the synthetic substances mephedrone and methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) were declared illegal in Alabama,” according to the release. “These are the stimulants in ‘bath salts’ that are usually sold in powder form, rather than in the traditional bath salts resembling small, opaque rocks. The stimulants in the ‘salts’ are synthetic drugs that mimic the effect of cocaine or methamphetamine. Users can suffer from extreme paranoia, hallucinations, psychosis, agitation, hypertension, headache, chest pain and uncomfortable changes in body temperature and heart rate, according to the National Institutes of Health. These stimulants have been banned due to reports that consumers are ingesting and injecting the products to get a cocaine like high.”
The release goes on to say, “The ‘bath salts’ have been widely sold at truck stops, smoke shops and convenience stores, as well as online. They are sold under seemingly innocent names like Aura, Vanilla Sky, Ivory Wave, Ocean Burst, White Rush, Pure Ivory, Cloud Nine and Bolivian Bath. They are now illegal substances in Alabama, and law enforcement agencies in Talladega will strictly enforce the new ban on these illegal substances. Any stores selling these substances in Talladega County are advised to immediately take them off the shelves and destroy these illegal substances. Law enforcement agencies will seize any illegal substances and violations will be prosecuted.”
According to assistant district attorney Christina Kilgore, District Attorney Steve Giddens will be instructing the Talladega County Drug and Violent Crime Task Force to make sure that all local businesses are well aware of the new ban.
Alabama now joins Florida, Louisiana and North Dakota in banning these two particular chemicals, which are analogous to Schedule 1 stimulants.
The Alabama Department of Public Health received information from members of the Legislature, the law enforcement community, and the public about dangers from these synthetic substances, according to the Associated Press.
The emergency ban will remain in place until the legislature has an opportunity to vote on a permanent ban.
Unlawful possession of a controlled substance is a Class C felony in Alabama, punishable upon conviction by one year and one day to 10 years in prison. Distribution of a controlled substance is a Class B felony, punishable upon conviction by two to 20 years in prison. Manufacture of a controlled substance in the second degree is also a Class B felony.
Manufacture of a controlled substance in the first degree and trafficking in a controlled substance are Class A felonies, carrying penalties of 10 years to 99 years or life in prison.