Bath Salts news conference

It is now a crime to sell, dispense, distribute, furnish, administer, or provide Spice and Bath Salt type products. A ban on the sale designer drugs took effect on January 1, 2012. Violators face up to 6 months in jail or a $1,000 fine or both.

If your store is within the jurisdiction of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, please contact Lt. Marco Garmo at 619.498.2403 for questions regarding the law.

A news conference was held on January 31, 2012 to sound the alarm on the dangers of synthetic drugs. Sheriff Bill Gore said, “One of our concerns surrounding the use of these designer drugs is the inherent innocence in their names. Make no mistake; these are toxic substances that can and have resulted in death. Our goal in sending this letter and holding this news event is to educate parents, businesses and the public on the dangers of spice and bath salts.”

In the box to the right you may download a copy of a letter from Sheriff Bill Gore and D.A. Bonnie Dumanis that is being delivered to local stores across San Diego County to inform them about the illegal sale of designer drugs. You can also read a synopsis of the relevant California law.

What are designer or synthetic drugs?
  • Typically sold in smoke shops, mini-marts, liquor stores, and online
  • Also called plant food, jewelry cleaner, potpourri and sold as “Ivory Wave,” “Purple Wave,” “Vanilla Sky,” and “Bliss”
  • Laced with chemical compounds that produce a Meth or Ecstasy-like high when snorted, injected or smoked. Also touted as a cocaine substitute and said to mimic marijuana.
  • The products are believed to contain Methylenedioxypyrovalerone, or MPDV, a chemical that is not approved for medical use in the United States
  • Users feel alert, euphoric, and more aware of their senses. Side effects include agitation, paranoia, hallucinations, chest pain, suicidal tendencies, seizures, psychosis, high blood pressure, kidney failure, flashbacks, extraordinary strength, and extreme panic attacks and suicide
  • As of December 2011 there were 6,072 calls to the Poison Control about bath salts.

Other resources:

  • Poison Control – 1.800.222.1222 Poison Control Website
  • San Diego County Drug and Crisis helpline 1.888.724.7240
  • Neighborhood Market Association – 619.464.8485