House Representative

Coleman, Garnet F.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 05/23/2011

Coleman Passes Bill Banning Synthetic Drugs That Have Caused Deaths

"Bath Salts" Ban Bill Going to Governor's Desk

Austin--Over the weekend the Texas Senate passed legislation to ban the synthetic drugs known as "bath salts," sending this bill to the Governor's desk. HB 2118 by Reps. Garnet Coleman, Phil King, Helen Giddings, and Ken Sheets and Sens. Craig Estes and Leticia Van De Putte adds the chemicals used to make the dangerous drugs to the Texas Controlled Substances Act.

"I'm glad that the Legislature acted swiftly to protect our children," said Rep. Coleman. "This drug appealed to children because it was legal and sold over the counter. However, the side effects can be worse than those for consuming cocaine. "

This dangerous drug is marketed as a "bath salt" and not labeled for human consumption in order to avoid regulation and be sold legally. These drugs are snorted, ingested, or injected, and can cause paranoia, hallucinations, and psychosis. HB 2118 not only bans the chemicals used to make the dangerous drug, it also bans similar chemical structures of the drugs to prevent manufacturers from bypassing the law by slightly modifying the formula.

Senator Estes added, "Because bath salts are a very new drug and thus have not seen widespread abuse, it was important that we act swiftly and ban this substance before more lives were put in jeopardy. I'm proud to have worked with my colleagues in the Legislature to pass this legislation."

Rep. Ken Sheets said, “I applaud the members of the legislature for taking the necessary actions to remove these harmful substances from the market. ‘Bath Salts’ may have an unassuming name, but they are extremely dangerous and were readily accessible to our youth prior to the passage of this bill. The passage of HB 2118 is a tremendous achievement that will protect our children.”

"I want to thank my colleagues for their work in passing this important legislation," said Rep. Coleman. "I filed this bill after hearing the tragic story of a young man who took his life after consuming the legal drug. This legislation could help save lives."

Representative Coleman is available for comment.