Three Democratic legislators announced Wednesday they will introduce measures aimed at banning the sale of “bath salts,” legal powders that give users a high similar to meth.
The measure will be sponsored by Sen. John Girgenti (D-Passaic) and Assembly members John McKeon (D-Essex) and Linda Stender (D-Union).
“Bath salts” have become and issue in the aftermath of the death of Pamela Schmidt, a Rutgers University senior allegedly killed by her long-time boyfriend, William Parisio, 22 of Cranford whose mother maintains is mentally ill and was using “bath salts” in recent months. Parisio is charged with murder. Schmidt’s body was found in the basement of the his home on Sunday.
“The recent tragedy is deadly proof of the devastation that can be caused when dangerous drugs are masqueraded as bath salts and are openly available to the public, especially our youth who are the highest users of such hallucinogenic substances," McKeon told The Star-Ledger.
The impending legislation would criminalize both possession and sale of any products containing substances that include mephedrone or methylenedioxpyrovalerone, commonly known as MDPV. They are among the ingredients used in “bath salts,” which cost $20-$50 and are snorted, smoked or ingested.
The proposal would make it a crime of the third-degree to manufacture, distribute, dispense or possess products containing those two chemicals in New Jersey. Those charged would face three to five years in prison, and up to $15,000 in fines.
Girgenti told The Star-ledger his bill would also ban the powders. “The more the truth behind these products masquerading as ‘bath salts’ comes out, the more banning these powerful chemicals makes sense,” he said. “There’s only one reason people purchase these products, and that is to get high.”
-TOM HESTER SR., NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM