Legislation to ban products marketed as incense and bath salts that can mimic marijuana or cocaine when smoked or snorted is moving to a final vote after easily passing a state Senate committee Tuesday.
The broad-reaching legislation by state Rep. Ricky Templet, R-Gretna, is intended to close any loopholes that would prevent manufacturers from tweaking the ingredients to keep the products legal.
“These products are sold to your youths, your constituents at the local … convenience stores,” Templet said.
The Senate Committee on Judiciary B approved Templet’s House Bill 12 without objection. The bill next heads to the Senate floor for a final vote before heading to the Governor’s Office.
Templet handed out products he purchased on which he said he bargained down the price at convenience stores. The product names included “Voodoo Remix,” “Wicked Potpourri” and “Nola Platinum.”
“You’re dealing with no better than drug dealers who sell to constituents,” Templet said. “It’s being sold as incense or bath salts, but being used as drugs on the streets.”
Last year, the Legislature banned certain types of synthetic marijuana, but the manufacturers simply adjusted the ingredients to skirt the new state law.
Then Gov. Bobby Jindal used an emergency order to pull certain bath salts from store shelves in January amid complaints that they trigger hallucinations and suicidal thoughts when snorted, smoked or injected.
“I enjoy a nice bubble bath,” Templet said, but not when it involves snorting bath salts through a straw.
Comparing last year’s legislation to food, Templet said that the Legislature approved legislation that banned a plain hamburger. “Then they made a hamburger with a pickle,” he said.
HB12 attempts to ban all “hamburgers” by outlawing many variations of synthetic cannabinoids, called synthetic marijuana, and of cathinones, the bath salts.
As lunchtime approached Tuesday, committee chairman and Sen. Danny Martiny, R-Kenner, chimed in, “That synthetic marijuana has made the committee synthetically hungry.”a