Livingston deputies begin seizing "bath salts" - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Livingston deputies begin seizing "bath salts"

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By Tyana Williams - bio | email

LIVINGSTON, LA (WAFB) - It has been called the "poor man's meth" known as a legal way to get high. Today Governor Bobby Jindal signed an emergency rule making fake "bath salts" illegal.  The synthetic drug is sold online and at gas station stores.

It is the first time something like this has been done. Jindal says the chemicals in this fake "bath salt" are now considered a schedule one drug, meaning not for medicinal purposes, but having high abuse potential.

Deputies in Livingston Parish wasted no time hitting several stores after the governor's announcement. They say they knew where the stuff was being sold, now they can get it off the streets.

"Whatever kind of bath salt you got, put it right here," said one Livingston deputy. 9 News rode along with Livingston deputies as they began confiscating the drugs. Livingston Parish deputies have known gas station stores have been selling the synthetic drugs by the packet. Now they can take them off the shelves.

"Therefore making it illegal to possess, manufacture or distribute these products in the state of Louisiana," said Governor Jindal.  "This is a growing threat...some are saying it's greater than crystal meth in their communities."

At Rayburn's Grocery, in Satsuma there were six different brands of the "bath salt" for sale behind the counter.  Each around 250 milligrams per packet for $20 to $45 dollars each.

The drug is said to cause the same high as cocaine or ecstasy, and are ingested the same way as other drugs. Patients have been treated for paranoia, hallucinations and many report suicidal thoughts.

Walter Reed, District Attorney for the 22 JDC, says three people in Louisiana have taken their own life. "A mother in Minden, Louisiana told me her son hung himself," Reed said.

Livingston's law enforcement is asking stores to hand the stuff over voluntarily. At one shop, it took some convincing before the store owner complied.

"It's a felony to possess the stuff. If you have any around and we find out, you going to jail for it," said a deputy to one store owner.  After hearing that, the owner went outside and returned with ten packets of "Cloud9" - another brand of the drugs. The owner told 9 News, he only sold it because customers asked him to.

Deputies say the one thing they want to find out now is where and from who these stores are getting the drugs.

If you have the drugs in your possession, you can face up to 30 years in prison. The governor says they'll need to pass additional legislation, in case manufacturers try to switch the chemicals and continue selling the drug.

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