The United States Drug Enforcement Agency has issued an emergency ban on the ingredients found in bath salts.
The DEA announced on Friday it would exercise the right to control three synthetic stimulants used to make "bath salts" and "plant food," except as authorized by law, the release said.
Now under federal control and regulation, the chemicals Mephedrone, 3,4 methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) and Methylone would be illegal to make or to sell. In addition, products that contain the stimulants would also be illegal.
The restriction in effect for a year will give the DEA and the Department of Health and Human Services time to study if the chemicals are permanently controlled as Schedule 1 substances. Schedule 1 is characterized as having high potential for abuse, according to the DEA's website..
. This week alone, three Upstate counties have issued an emergency ban on the products following the death of an Anderson Univeristy basketball player, as well as an incident in Spartanburg County that saw a woman try to steal a police car.
Anderson, Greenville and Spartanburg counties all unanimously approved at least one reading of ordinances banning the advertisement, sale and possession of synthetic marijuana and bath salts that are being used for a cheap high with increasing frequency.
Lexington County Council is poised to officially outlaw the use, purchase, sale, or possession of bath salts and synthetic marijuana when it meets again on Oct. 25.
By prohibiting the substances, the council is largely following the lead of neighboring Columbia and Richland County.
On Wednesday, the Community Services Division of the Greenville County Sheriff's Office swept through more than 100 stores throughout the county on Wednesday to begin immediate enforcement of the countywide ban on cathinones, also known as bath salts, seizing more than 2,400 packets of the synthetic product.