New state drug bans effective next week

Cassandra Beck

K2 Spice and bath salts will be illegal in Ohio starting Oct. 17, 90 days after Gov. John Kasich signed the legislation to ban the substances.

The legislation to outlaw the dangerous chemicals is to stop the abuse of designer drugs, which are substances that have been chemically changed in some form, often to mimic the effects of illegal drugs. K2 Spice is used as a synthetic marijuana, while bath salts are used as a cocaine substitute.

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K2 Spice is often smoked, while bath salts often come in a powder form and are usually snorted or injected.

Not all states have declared K2 Spice and bath salts illegal, but the state of Ohio will officially recognize both substances as Schedule I drugs. Schedule I drugs have no safe, accepted medical use in the United States and include drugs like heroin, LSD and crack cocaine.

Michquel Penn, Kent State Police Department’s community resources officer, said police have not come across K2 Spice or bath salts use on campus.

“We haven’t had any problems with it, but that’s not to say it doesn’t happen,” Penn said.

Kent State police met with residence hall staff at the beginning of the year to discuss drug trends and what to be alert about. Penn said there are five trending drugs that are becoming more popular: salvia, prescription pills, K2 Spice, bath salts and lazy cakes.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency has listed salvia, which produces marijuana-like effects, as a “drug of concern.” Prescription pills are getting easier to get a hold of, and lazy cakes are a relatively new product that often contain over-the-counter sleeping pills and melatonin, a naturally occurring hormone that makes most people feel sleepy.

Despite the impending ban, bath salts and K2 Spice remain available at some area head shops and on the Internet.


Cassandra Beck at [email protected].