Bath Salts and other “legal highs” are only legal until their existence is registered by the appropriate authorities and they get properly dealt with.
Alton Illinois takes emergency action to ban the sales of novelty bath salts like Ivory Wave, Cloud 9, Vanilla Sky, Red Dove, White Lightening and Hurricane Charlie. The immediate ban was voted 7-0 by Alton city counsel just ten hours after 28-year old Tonia Whitehead died, of an alleged overdose on Wednesday night.
Whitehead was not a stranger to Illinois Fox 2 news. She was interviewed in September of 2008 shortly after the tragic death of her 5-year old son, Ethan Allen. Whitehead’s former boyfriend, Frank Price, is serving a 70 year prison sentence for beating Ethan to death.
A friend found Whitehead unconscious in her home on Tuesday night. Police say that she’d had been inhaling bath salts that a friend had brought to her from the Broadway Package Liquor store in Alton Illinois.
The sale of these novelty bath salts has been under great scrutiny in the U.K. and in the United States. The sale of these salts is legal and can be purchased at head shops and liquor stores.
Alton city counsel made a sudden decision to ban the possession of the bath salts. This also includes the delivery and distribution of the salts. Police shut down the liquor store that sold the salt that may have killed Whitehead. The Chief of police, David Hayes said they were also running an illegal gambling operation in the store.
Hayes commented on the shut down of the liquor store. “[We] recovered a stockpile of designer drugs that were hidden under the counter and in the ceiling…These drugs are designed to mimic cocaine, LSD, methamphetamines. They have the same effect. In many cases death prevails and this is one of those instances.”
Police arrested the store’s three proprietors and the friend who brought the bath salts to Whitehead; criminal charges are pending. The new ban would likely have only meant $75 fines for them, if convicted. There are five stores in Alton that were known to be selling the salts. They have five days to stop the distribution of the salts.
Hays said “It’s going to allow us to seize the product and hold them criminally accountable for the sale of it [the bath salt] over the counter…Most importantly the new ban broadened police power to potentially save lives.”
“I think they should burn it all,” Danielle Johnson said, crying. “I don’t think anyone should have to go through what I’m going through right now. Losing someone you love is like taking a piece of your heart out that you’re never going to get back.”
Johnson is Whitehead’s sister, she told Fox 2 news that having Easter and Mother’s Day just two weeks apart this year, might have been more than Whitehead could take. “I know how much I thought about [Ethan] all the time. I can only imagine [for Tonia], you know.”
Illinois lawmakers are considering a ban similar to Alton’s. Policies could also be banning bath salts from Oklahoma. Florida and other states are also strongly considering a ban on the dangerous “synthetic cocaine”. Louisiana is the only reported state to ban dangerous chemicals found in bath salts to get high.