By Brittany Pieper – email
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) – Stores will no longer be able to sell so-called "bath salts" that people use to get high. Governor Bobby Jindal issued an emergency order banning the drug after dozens of people have been hospitalized from dangerous side effects. Governor Jindal's emergency order makes it now illegal to own, distribute, or manufacture these products.
Louisiana's poison control center has received 165 calls from people who snort, smoke or inject the bath salts. That's more distress calls because of the drug than all other states combined. At least 2 people have died and 84 others have gotten sick. The 6 chemicals used to make bath salts are now illegal.
Buying, selling, or even possessing the substance could get you the same penalty as heroine, which is up to 30 years in prison.
Despite the ban, KSLA News 12 found the bath salts at multiple convenience stores in Shreveport. Everywhere we went, store owners seemed to know the products were a little more than your average bath salt, but they were not aware it's now illegal to sell them.
KSLA News 12 went to 5 different convenience stores. Two of those still sold several of the banned products ranging from $15 to $65 dollars. Two stores didn't sell them. The final store said "Cloud Nine" and other similar products were very popular, but they had sold out.
"It was going pretty fast. I sold 10 bags in lass than a six hour period," said store manager Farank Ali.
Despite the products popularity, he doesn't plan to restock.
"It was a very bad effect on people. You know, health wise. People couldn't go to sleep. Telling me it was a very bad impact on people.," Ali said.
The Governor's Office said the ban is effective immediately. If stores or anyone still has them, they said they should turn them in to their local law enforcement.