A Mid Missouri community has banned bath salts.
The City of Belle passed an ordinance that now makes it a crime to possess, display, or distribute the substances known as bath salts.
Police Chief Michael Dixon is actually the one who suggested the ordinance.
ast Friday the city council voted unanimously in favor of Dixon's suggestion.
This comes on the heels of a number of incidents involving the bath salts in the small town of just 1,500.
"We run into bath salts probably on a weekly basis", he said.
Dixon said people often ask him if bath salts are what you soak your feet in, his answer is NO.
"Bath salts are a toxic, very dangerous synthetic drug that typically mirrors synthetic cannabis or synthetic stimulants and they pose a serious health and safety risk to those who take it", Dixon said.
e said bath salts are becoming a drug of convenience, they're easy to come by and cheap to purchase. The worst part! It's all legal, and very, very dangerous!
Dixon told us, "People that are under the influence of bath salts are extremely unpredictable, they can hallucinate, they can become violent, they can become aggressive. We've all heard the horror stories of zombie-like actions and it really has caught a lot of national attention".
ven though Belle has banned the salts, you can still drive just eight miles down the road to Bland where they're still legal, and still for sale.
So does the city of Belle really think they can stop the use of bath salts?
Dixon said you have to start somewhere.
"Our goal is to hopefully see other communities buy into the idea of passing their own ordinance but ultimately I'd like to see state legislators pick up legislation similar to ours and pass it statewide", he said.
Dixon said other communities around the state have already been calling to see how they can craft their own ordinances.
On June 12, 2012, Belle Police Department chief Michael Dixon presented the Belle City Council with a proposed ordinance he wrote making it a crime to possess, distribute, or display the dangerous substances known as bath salts.
The city council agreed that these substances are extremely dangerous and pose a severe health and safety risk to individuals who may consume it. During a special session meeting on June 21, 2012, the Belle City Council voted unanimously to adopt Dixonâ??s ordinance, outlawing these substances."Synthetic drugs and bath salts are extremely dangerous. Iâ??ve dealt with individuals who are under the influence of these substances who have had extremely adverse reactions and they are extremely unpredictable," Dixon said. "Officers in Belle just this week encountered a male subject who had to be taken to the hospital after he had attempted to cause serious harm to himself by cutting both of his wrists. Family members advised officers he had been ingesting bath salts and they believed it was the cause of his depression and aggression."
Police officers in Florida recently shot and killed a naked man who attacked another man by chewing the victim's face off. Witnesses say the suspect was growling like a rabid dog.
Officials say one issue with these substances is that they are marketed to young people and children. Several names for the substances include Scooby Snax, Scarface, Pump It, Zoom, Cloud Nine and Hurricane Charlie, and they can be found on the shelves of gas stations, liquor shops, and convenience stores. These drugs can be taken orally, inhaled and injected. Especially severe reactions occur when the substances are snorted or injected.
Several other law enforcement agencies and municipal governments have been discussing the issue concerning bath salts and have looked at adopting the same type of ordinance.
Dixon said, "I believe our ordinance will be really effective in the way it is written. Our city attorney reviewed the ordinance and had no legal objections. State law currently outlaws other substances like K-2 but chemists and those selling these substances simply change the chemical composition to get around the legislation. By including the verbage that outlaws similar substances that cause the same effects, it covers the broad range of bath salts out there. Bath salts are a serious problem and are quickly becoming an epidemic. I believe these substances are just as dangerous as illicit drugs like methamphetamine and we need to take a stand and do what is right by protecting our young people and our children. Iâ??m glad our city council got on board with this ordinance and I strongly encourage other communities nearby like Owensville, Vienna and Linn to pass this ordinance. The Belle Police Department is committed to leading the charge against dangerous drug use and we will do all that we can to protect our community."