It’s been a few years since the bath salt craze began, but they can still be found and according to some it’s because the laws aren’t tight enough. Still, the federal government and states alike have enacted laws banning “designer drugs” like synthetic pot and bath salts and prescribing lengthy sentences for violations of these laws, largely because of the media frenzy unleashed when their presence first became known.
The media frenzy began when stories of these designed drugs became linked to incredibly odd and sometimes violent reactions. Bath salts were blamed for an act of cannibalism on a busy Miami freeway. (Despite the suspect later not testing positive for bath salts) They were also linked to suicides and murders. But drawing a line from someone’s bath salt consumption to their actions following isn’t always possible.
Still, with the way the government works and the fear of crime perpetuated by the media, laws were passed in a flurry and much to the delight of the average American.
This isn’t to say the manufactured drugs are harmless. On the contrary, they are loaded with chemicals that have untold effects on the brain.
Research has shown these drugs actually enter the brain cells, unlike cocaine and marijuana which act only on the synapses. Drugs that go into the brain cell are more likely to damage them, according to experts. These drugs include those found in synthetic designer drugs like bath salts, but also in methamphetamine and ecstasy.
The problem with these quickly-passed laws is that the drugs aren’t fully researched and the laws are vague and overreaching. For instance, the federal emergency ban enacted was written in such a way that researching them and related compounds (that could be helpful rather than harmful) is limited.
Instead, lawmakers need to address why these drugs have been created. Perhaps, to fill a void. When the war on marijuana can send you to prison for growing a plant, it’s easier to catch a high from a packet of powder purchased from the corner store.
In other words, marijuana legalization could have prevented the creation of such substances. And while these designer drugs may or may not cause bizarre reactions in users, we know for a fact marijuana does not.