Iowans urged to drop off soon-to-be illegal drugs, “no questions asked”


August 5th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A state ban on the sale or possession of both the herb Salvia (sal-vee-uh) and so-called “bath salts” will soon take effect and Iowans in possession of such substances are being asked to turn them over now to law enforcement. Salvia is smoked, while “bath salts” – sold under names like “Ivory Wave” and “White Lightning” – can be snorted.

Both products, along with so-called synthetic marijuana, have been under scrutiny nationwide as they can cause hallucinations, paranoia and rapid heart rates. Kevin Frampton, director of the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, says a collection and disposal program will run from next Monday (August 8) through August 26.

“Individuals who are in possession of (Salvia or bath salts) or retailers who are selling the stuff can anonymously drop those items off at (Iowa State Patrol district offices), no questions asked,” Frampton said. Salvia and “bath salts” will become illegal substances on August 28. Frampton says anyone caught selling or possessing the items will be given a “warning” for the first month the new ban is in place.

Criminal penalties will be enforced beginning September 27. The charge for possession of such “designer drugs” will be a serious misdemeanor under Iowa law. A person who manufactures, delivers or intends to deliver the substances would face an aggravated misdemeanor.

A ban on synthetic marijuana, sold under brand names like K2 and Spice, took effect July 29 as a temporary ban by the Iowa Pharmacy Board was set to expire. In June of 2010, an 18-year-old Indianola boy shot and killed himself after smoking K2.

(Radio Iowa)