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New Jersey bans 'bath salts' designer drug

New Jersey's Attorney General Paula Dow announced on Thursday that the state was classifying six chemicals used to manufacture a designer drug that is sold as "bath salts" as controlled dangerous substances. The designer drug may carry a label that it is not for human consumption, but when smoked or snorted will give users a high similar to meth or cocaine.

People have increasingly been purchasing the designer drug as a legal alternative to meth or cocaine that will not show up on drug tests. The products are sold online or in convenience stores, but they were not regulated before now. It is now illegal, however, to manufacture, distribute or possess synthetic drug products that contain the six banned chemicals.

If people are caught manufacturing, selling or in possession of these products, they could face up to three to five years in prison or a fine of up to $25,000. The attorney general said that people could turn in the synthetic meth or cocaine products to law enforcement by May 8 without facing criminal drug charges.

New Jersey officials banned the chemicals because they believe they pose an "imminent threat to public safety," according to The Associated Press. Lawmakers in New Jersey are also looking to ban the chemicals. Public officials and law enforcement have become increasingly concerned over reports of people becoming seriously ill or violent after using the designer drug. This includes the recent case where a 22-year-old Cranford man allegedly murdered his girlfriend; it is believed that the man may have been behaving erratically while high on the synthetic meth.


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