Rep. Milo Smith (R- Columbus) has authored House Bill 1196, which expands the definition of synthetic drugs to include a range of chemical compounds, including those known as “bath salts.” The bill will help prohibit the rising sales of these hazardous substances.
“I met with police and prosecutors over the past few months to discuss ways to strengthen the law and ensure it remains off shelves and not available for purchase,” said Rep. Smith. “It is very important to pass this bill considering the urgency of the problem.”
‘Bath salts’ have effects similar to amphetamines and can cause damage to the nervous system. The law would make possessing or dealing synthetic bath salts the same as the real drug and enhance penalties for those offenses with jail time.
Indiana banned the sale of bath salts after hundreds of overdoses were reported; however, illegal drug manufacturers have continued to find new ways of making the drug that avoid using the exact chemical compounds banned by the law.
“Makers of the drug are slightly changing the base compounds of it to avoid the law that was put into effect last year. This bill will close necessary loopholes and make policing these harmful substances more effective,” said Rep. Smith.
House Bill 1196 was heard on a third reading on the House floor on Thursday and passed with a unanimous vote.