Pubdate: Sat, 28 May 2011
Source: Bellingham Herald (WA)
Copyright: 2011 Bellingham Herald
Author: Jeremy Pawloski


The Thurston County prosecuting attorney and Thurston County Public 
Health are putting merchants on notice: retailers selling synthetic 
marijuana or synthetic stimulants marketed as "bath salts" might face 
felony charges in the wake of recent emergency bans by the state 
Board of Pharmacy.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Wayne Graham has co-drafted a letter 
tentatively set to be sent next week to every Thurston County 
merchant with a tobacco license, more than 100 in all. It explains 
that the pharmacy board's ban makes it illegal to sell, possess, 
manufacture or deliver synthetic pot or the bath salts.

Co-authors of the letter are Prosecuting Attorney Jon Tunheim and 
Health Officer Diana Yu.

Graham, who handles criminal cases in juvenile court, said law 
enforcement, schools and drug courts are seeing a growing number of 
people abusing bath salts and synthetic pot. Law enforcement agencies 
will conduct compliance checks.

Synthetic pot, which goes by brand names such as Spice and K2, have 
never been approved for consumption. They have been linked to a 
growing number of hospital emergency room visits, with patients 
reporting elevated heart rates, anxiety attacks and even psychosis.

Bath salts, sold under brand names such as Ivory, Purple Wave, Red 
Dove and Zoom, "affect behavior, judgment and health and can cause 
serious harm when used," according to the Board of Pharmacy's website.

Bath salts "may cause an increased heart rate, elevated blood 
pressure, anxiety, hallucinations, paranoia, chest pains, and other 
harmful effects," according to the site.
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