Because the governor signed House Bill 64 in July, possessing a drug known as "bath salts" is officially a crime in Ohio. The law went into effect in October. Since then, several people have likely been arrested and charged for drug possession or distribution, even though they may not have realized that both substances are now illegal.
One police lieutenant explained the danger of bath salts, claiming that users often suffer serious hallucinations and may even harm themselves. He said the drug has caused its users to "[jump] out of second story windows" and behave irrationally in general.
He went on to describe that users of bath salts suffer from paranoia, saying that some who are admitted to hospitals to be treated for the drug begin to fear that nurses and doctors are trying to hurt them. The drug has been compared to taking cocaine, PCP and amphetamines simultaneously.
House Bill 64 also banned the sale and possession of synthetic marijuana. Ohio police plan to periodically check on stores that sold such products to ensure that they are no longer available to customers. Before it was banned, bath salts and synthetic marijuana had become popular as legal alternatives to illicit drugs.
As this new bill shows, Ohio lawmakers and law enforcement officers take drug crimes very seriously. They will not go easy on someone they suspect of using or selling illegal drugs, even if you didn't realize they were no longer legal. This is why it is so important to understand your rights when facing drug charges -- it could mean the difference between protecting and losing your freedom.
Source: NewsNet5.com, "Ohio's new bath salts law leads to first arrest in Elyria," Cristin Severance, Oct. 20, 2011