BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Growing in popularity and growing more dangerous. Bath salts are fast becoming a household name, but should they be legal?

Kelly McPherson explains why the Maryland is looking into a state-wide ban.

It’s like methamphetamine and can cause paranoia and agitation for weeks. Bath salts are legal in Maryland . . . for now.

“If you’re doing the stuff, stop it. And if you haven’t done it, don’t. That’s all I can say about that bath salts. It’s bad. It killed my boy,” said James Baldwin.

Since his son Joey Baldwin died from using bath salts in Texas, the legislature there is about to ban the substance.

In Ohio, where dozens have overdosed, a local prosecutor has asked stores to stop stocking the products.

The salts are gaining popularity in Maryland. In 2010 there were two calls to the state poison control. This year, there’s already been 22, and one western Maryland man has died.

Just last month, federal agents seized barrels of the substance in a storage space in Frederick County.

A Fells Point smoke shop used to sell the bath salts, which are also marketed as fertilizer.  However, the clerk says more people have been coming in and asking for it.

“They’re taking it orally, they’re shooting it, they’re snorting it, they’re smoking it, they’re pretty much trying to get it into their system any way they can,” said Dr. Tom Cargiulo, Director Alcohol and Drug Abuse Administration.

The state is now considering making it illegal to sell or posses the drug by classifying its chemical ingredients as controlled substances.

Because the chemical doesn’t show up on typical drug tests, the concern is that there are more users than reported.

“The hospital or the medical people may not be aware that this is a problem, Cargiulo said.  “We want to make sure that we’re getting in front of this before we start seeing more significant problems.”

One smoke shop owner told WJZ off camera that the people looking for these chemicals are in the military or in high-paying jobs where drug tests are required.  Because this is legal, it wouldn’t cause someone to fail a drug test.  That could be changing.

The state health department expects to decide on this issue by mid-July.

Comments (16)
  1. Primetime Editorials says:

    please make it illegal no one else needs to die

  2. ben says:

    Why are they calling it bath salts? It is a drug. Will all bath salts become illegal? I tried smoking some bath salts at my house and they certainly didn’t get me high. It is already a federal crime to sell anything other than alcohol with the express purpose of getting high.

  3. sherri... willie says:

    I like to mix them in my beer!

    1. Beer_Head says:

      I stopped drinking beer entirely and now I just snort bath salts!

  4. dee says:

    I thought they were supposed to go in your bath water

    1. sheerif willie says:

      I drink my bath water when I dont have beer! yee haw!

  5. scarlett says:

    so they make pot legal, but I can’t take a hot bath in bath salts. This IS INSANE. Stop policing everyone. Pretty soon watermellon will be illegal.

    1. mahatchma says:

      Idiot – the name is a code word for a drug that results in psychosis, paranoia and death – not the chemicals you place in bath water to make yourself smell good.

  6. William Bauer says:

    whats next house hold cleaners , Pam and the list goes on ?They all get you high and can kill you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Adam says:

    are we talking about Epsom Salt or what? It is “Bath Salt”, it is a fertilizer and it will get you high if you misuse it or overdose. If you stay in the bath too long and prune up you will absorber and could overdose on whatever you have put in the water, even soap. Are we going to ban Halite too, because it will get you high and kill you if you take it?
    What we need is better education for these people who fall into drug abuse or have stress management issues. I still know people who think Alcohol is a stimulant and they think it makes them feel energized.

  8. Larry says:

    Oh great …here we go again…grand pa want to lock up every body that wants to harm themselves by harming them with jail…lets me understand…if you decide to do something stupid…we must spend 50 thousand a year to housed and feed you in a prison so that you can’t kill yourself…You can not legislate stupidity but we do…no room in jail for the murderer or thieves from wall street…but we have plenty of room for the stupid fools that want to get high…are we gonna finally lock up the glue manufacturers since the grand kids are huffing grand pa’s modeling glue? let’s not do this…Let em be…let’s save our tax money from schools to educate the dummies first

  9. sheriff and williejoe says:

    We buy bath salts but we don’t take baths, though we DO shower together. I guess you’ve already figured out we’re meat gazers.

  10. Baltimoron says:

    Why don’t we focus on ourselves before we start worrying about trying to fix everyone else’s problems. People will find ways to escape because as a culture we spend too much time placing blame and punishing people rather than resolving the root issues and living our neighbors.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Watch & Listen LIVE