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On Sunday, the sale of K2, K3 and certain types of ‘baths salts’ became illegal in Missouri. This new law is meant to replace previous laws that were too specific and easy for people selling these drug substitutes to bypass. KSMU’s Theresa Bettmann has this report.
Since they came onto the market about a year or so ago, substances like K2, K3 and ‘bath salts’ have remained readily available to those seeking their effects. K2 and K3 are considered synthetic types of marijuana, while ‘bath salts’ are used to mimic the effects of cocaine. Matt Brown is a spokesperson for the Springfield Police Department. Brown says that these ‘bath salts’, also known as ‘Bloom,’ ‘Vanilla Sky,’ and ‘Ivory Wave,’ contain specific chemicals not found in most products designed simply for personal hygiene. Despite previous efforts to get rid of these drugs, they remained on the market because earlier laws were too specific about their chemical makeup.
“The new bill lists the specific types of chemicals that could go into any of those bath salts, K2 or K3. So it’s a list of chemicals not a chemical compound specifically,” says Brown.
Brown says that businesses known to carry these products were given advance notice by the narcotics division of the police department to remove these items from their inventory before the law took effect. He says one reason these substances must be taken off of the streets is because they are dangerous. Most come from small, unregulated manufacturers.
“When I say small, I mean small. This isn’t something that’s regulated by the FDA. Some of these are just ‘mom and pop’ stores. So you’re not going to get the same type of strength with each one. The down side, and the by-product that we see as law enforcement, is you’ll have somebody that may try a variation and then think that the same amount, or quantity, is enough. And then we’ll see them in the hospital,” Brown says.
Possessing any of the chemicals used to make these substances will carry the same felony and misdemeanor penalties as the illegal drugs they are designed to mimic.
We contacted two Springfield businesses known for selling K2, K3 and ‘bath salts’ for comment on this story. Paradise News and Arcade on West Sunshine and Mr. Eddies downtown both declined to comment, although a man who answered the phone at Paradise did say the store no longer advertises these items on its marquis in front. For KSMU News, I’m Theresa Bettmann.