'Bath Salts' could be banned in Texas

Walk into some stores here in the Rio Grande Valley and you'll find them 'bath salts.'

The powdery substance intended to make your bath a bit more relaxing has taken on a new role.

A lot of time these are marketed under the term of bath salts or plant food, said William Glaspy, United States Drug Enforcement Officer. However they have absolutely no benefit as bath salts or agricultural food."

Sold on the internet and at local shops under names such as Ivory Wave, Cloud 9, Vanilla Sky and White Lightning, these salts do anything but calm you down.

These are synthetic drugs that have been manufacted to mimic the effects of cocaine, methamphetamine or or ecstasy," Glaspy said.

But here TMs the kicker, these bath salts are completely legal in the State of Texas.

Although local law enforcement agencies told Action 4 News cases around the Rio Grande Valley are not as prevalent, nationally there are some alarming statistics.

Glaspy said that the trend they TMre seeing across the country is primarily for those around 15-24 years of age.

In Texas alone, this year, at least two men have already died after consuming the synthetic drug.

That's why now state lawmakers have proposed several bans on the product.

As to whether the bills would even work has some Valley residents split.

Harlingen resident Michael Newberry spoke to Action 4 News about the issue.

I think it TMs just another restriction if somebody wants to use bath salts instead of bathing in it, there TMs nothing it could do that'll put a type of prevention notice on the bath salt," Newberry said.

Another Harlingen native, Henry Hinojosa disagreed.

If it does keep occurring, then there should be some kind of intervention by the government or even the state of the city officials," Hinojosa said.

The legislative bills would include House Bill 1548, HB 2097, Senate Bill 1066 and HB 2118.

If signed, the bans would go into effect in September with punishment ranging up to 99 years behind bars.