DENVER (CBS4)- New synthetic drugs are available for purchase at tobacco shops, convenience stores and even gas stations under packaging labeled as bath salts or plant food.
The bath salts cost $20 and are often snorted or injected. The packaging states the bath salts are “Not For Human Consumption.”
At one tobacco store the clerk is seen on the CBS4 Investigates hidden camera saying, “I recommend not do it, not doing it.”
The bath salts are sold under seductive names like “Pure Jolly.”
One woman told the story of what happened when her daughter started hallucinating after she snorted bath salts.
“She told us that at one point, that the bugs were inside of her body coming out and they were all in her feet,” said the woman who didn’t want to give her name.
Her daughter’s weight dropped to 69 pounds while using bath salts.
“Everyone that sells them knows that these people are snorting, smoking or injecting these substances into their body,” said Drug Enforcement Administration Acting Special-Agent-In-Charge Kevin Merrill.
Merrill said the scheme is to create and describe the substance so it doesn’t fall under existing drug regulations. Bath salts are outlawed in more than two dozen states, other synthetic drugs are taking their place with innocent-sounding names.
While wearing a disguise, CBS4 Investigator Rick Sallinger bought a product called “Plant Food” at a tobacco shop. When asked how it worked, the clerk told him, “You’d have to try it out yourself. You snort it and it gives you energy.”
The product is believed to contain mephedrone, a synthetic stimulant manufactured in China.
The Rocky Mountain Poison Control Center has had 19 exposure calls since January 1 regarding bath salts, 14 of those from emergency rooms. They call the products a public threat.
The DEA is examining whether to seek an emergency designation of the products as illegal drugs. 28 states have already banned them.