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Grant County Sheriff reminds citizens and business to be on the look out for bath salts

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Grant County Sheriff reminds citizens and business to be on the look out for bath salts

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March 29, 2012

(Ephrata, WA) Grant County Sheriff Tom Jones and Prosecutor D. Angus Lee today warn citizens and business owners that the selling, buying or possessing synthetic marijuana and synthetic stimulant ‘bath salts’ is illegal in Washington State.

“The fact is synthetic cannabinoid and synthetic stimulant products are illegal, and ignorance of the law is not a shield to prosecution,” said Prosecutor Lee. “Possession or distribution of a Schedule 1 controlled substance is a violation of the law, punishable by up to five years in jail and a $10,000 fine, and accomplices to the sale, such as corporate agents and store owners, may also be held criminally liable for the distribution of those illegal substances.” 

According to Sheriff Jones, the Interagency Narcotic Enforcement Team recently conducted an investigation of a local convenience store. Undercover officers purchased two ‘herbal’ products sold under the brand names ‘Green Grenade’ and ‘Clown’. When tested at the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab, both of the purchased products contained naphthoylindoles. Naphthoylindoles are a class of synthetic cannabinoids added to the list of Schedule 1 controlled substances on December 2, 2011 by the Washington State Board of Pharmacy. Schedule 1 is a U.S. classification for drugs with no known medical benefit and that possesses high abuse potential or is otherwise unduly harmful.

Users of such products want the desired feeling of euphoria, similar to the sensations felt when smoking marijuana. Cannabinoids are the main drug found in marijuana, and synthetic cannabinoids are intended to mimic that ‘high’.

With synthetic stimulant ‘bath salts’, the main drug is ‘substitututed cathinones’, specifically MDPV (methylenedioxypyrovalerone). These products are also classified as Schedule 1 substances, and mimic the effects of cocaine, LSD, ecstasy or methamphetamine. These products are dangerous and can cause psychosis in users. Some users across the nation have committed suicide during or after using the drug.

The illegal products are marketed under a variety of product types. Synthetic marijuana is marketed as such things as ‘herbal incense’. Synthetic stimulants are marketed as ‘bath salts’, ‘jewelry cleaner’, and ‘plant food’. These products are sold under many names including Green Grenade, Clown, K2, Spice, Black Mamba, and pure compounds such as JWH-018.

“Of special importance to know is these products may not be made in a clean laboratory,” said Sheriff Jones. “Not long ago, INET detectives found ‘bath salts’ being manufactured in a home’s garage, so there certainly isn’t any safety control. With that in mind, virtually anything can be added to the ingredients, and the result can be the death or permanent disability of users.”

To report suspected sellers of illegal substances, contact your local law enforcement agency, the Grant County Sheriff’s Office at 509-754-2011 ext. 468, or send information to [email protected]. Tipsters can remain anonymous.

***Laws referenced: R.C.W. 69.50.401, R.C.W 9A.08.020 and R.C.W. 9A.08.030

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