Pubdate: Mon, 20 Aug 2012
Source: Sun Chronicle (Attleboro, MA)
Copyright: 2012 Sun Chronicle
Author: Jim Hand


Gov. Deval Patrick signed a prescription drug regulation bill Monday
that includes a ban on a narcotic-like substance nicknamed bath salts.

The bath salt ban was authored by state Rep. George Ross, R-Attleboro,
who took up the cause after hearing about the damage smoking bath
salts was having on addicted constituents.

"The bill is done and it becomes law now," Ross said. "I'm really
happy because it is a tool for law enforcement."

Ross said he believes the ban will save lives and families.

The so-called bath salts are not a product people put into their tubs
with hot water. They are a chemical substance sold over the counter
that some young people smoke to get high.

They have a narcotic effect similar to crystal methamphetamine, and
can be harmful to an abuser's physical and psychological health.

The larger prescription drug bill would further regulate the
distribution of powerful drugs so abusers cannot go "doctor shopping"
and get prescriptions for non-medical reasons.

Ross had originally filed the bath salt ban as a stand-alone bill, but
it was later attached to another drug bill and then the prescription
drug bill. That bill passed the House at the very end of the
Legislature's 2011-2012 session on July 31.

A potential foe in November's election criticized Ross because Ross
was uncertain of the status of the measure as the session came to a
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