Bath salts containing cathinones, which were being legally sold in the state, are linked to recent cases of addiction and suicide.
The House has passed a similar bill. Minor differences between the bills will be addressed before the legislation is sent to the governor.
The Senate’s version, Senate Substitute for House Bill 2049, also addresses synthetic marijuana, known as K-3.
Last year the Legislature banned a synthetic type of marijuana called K-2, only to find dealers altering the drug just enough to skirt the law, said Sen. Vicki Schmidt, R-Topeka.
“This bill creates a class of chemicals drug makers are using, which will help us to cover the chemicals that could be contained in the next generation of drugs,” said Schmidt.
Schmidt, who chairs the Senate Health and Public Welfare Committee that brought the bill to the Senate, said the Senate version of the bill is a combination of two House bills that addressed bath salts and chemical marijuana separately.
“I feel this is a very important bill for the safety of Kansans because of the serious effects of these drugs,” said Schmidt. “Law enforcement has noticed an increase in activity with these drugs and we needed to address it.”
Louisiana, Florida and North Dakota already have bans in place for these types of bath salts.
The powders — equal in size to a crushed aspirin — sell for $19 to $50 at convenience stores, gas stations, smoke shops and over the Internet. By comparison, a 20-ounce jar of real bath salts is available at many stores for about $4 to $5. – Todd Fertig