New Jersey has experienced a significant drop in the number of reports to the state’s poison hotline regarding bath salts since the designer drugs were banned. Officials say this is evidence that the ban is working to curb usage of the dangerous synthetic drugs.
According to the Philly Inquirer, calls to the poison hotline from January through August of this year have fallen 66 percent. So too, calls regarding synthetic marijuana have fallen—33 percent.
Last year during the first eight months of the year, there were 53 calls to the center concerning bath salts. This year, there have only been 18.
These bath salts made major headlines last year as bizarre behaviors were attached to them and people ended up in emergency room with violent reactions. Subsequently, New Jersey was one of the first states to ban them.
Hallucinations, self-mutilation, paranoia, and suicidal thoughts are just some of the side effects attributed to these substances—previously sold at gas stations and convenience stores.
Synthetic marijuana has also declined, with the poison control center receiving 46 calls between March 1 and August 31 of this year, whereas they had 69 calls over the same period last year. Also, the State Police Office of Forensic Science saw a drop of 77 percent in the number of synthetic marijuana cases referred to law enforcement—this despite an overall jump in drug submissions.
There is little doubt that the War on Drugs has propelled the creation and manufacturing of these “designer drugs.” Because the government doesn’t respect people’s option to use or control their recreational habits without facing prison time, these provided a legal alternative, for a short time. Now, however, they are classified along with the other controlled substances.
There are those who argue an all-out drug legalization would reduce many of the problems this country currently struggles with, including high crime rates and the extreme costs associated with processing drug cases and incarcerating offenders. They do have a point.
Treating drug addiction as a health concern and drug use as a regulated recreational option could benefit the vast majority of Americans, whether in allowing them to purchase marijuana without turning to the black market, or simply lightening the tax burden to fail for the failed Drug War and massive prison industrial complex.
Still, lawmakers and law enforcement wage their battle and stay in pursuit of anyone daring to break any drug crime.
Whether you are accused of possessing bath salts or cocaine, I may be able to help. Contact my offices today to discuss your case and the legal options available to you.