I know this might sound like a joke title and is definitely a topic I did not imagine myself writing an article about when going to law school, but bath salts are simply no laughing matter. As a Maryland lawyer who follows the news, updates in the Maryland criminal laws, and is a fan of zombie apocalypse movies; I feel it necessary to add my two cents to the discussion.
Maryland Lawyer: What are bath salts?
There are several chemicals that are being labeled as “bath salts”: Mephedrone, Methylone and Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MPDV) [not to be confused with epsom salts]. They are traditionally used in foot baths and for topical skin treatments. The effects of these drugs reportedly resemble that of cocaine or amphetamines. They produce side effects of paranoia, delusions, and psychosis. They can be snorted, injected, or smoked. Since bath salts emerged in the limelight a few years ago, they have been confirmed to be responsible for more than 15 deaths nationwide. In Maryland alone, DHMH says that 22 people have overdosed on bath salts and 1 person died.
Maryland Criminal laws related to bath salts
In October 2011 the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in conjunction with the DEA used its emergency regulatory power to place Bath Salts on the Schedule 1 of the Controlled Dangerous Substances Act (Title 5 of the Maryland Criminal Laws Annotated).
- Simple possession of bath salts is a misdemeanor punishable by 4 years in prison.
- Distribution or possessing with the intent to distribute carries 20 years.
During the Maryland General Assembly session, the legislature passed both House and Senate bills formalizing the emergency regulations related to bath salts. It is currently law by regulation and will become law by statute on October 1, 2012.
Why do I care about bath salts? Aren’t they just for feet?
If you use them, they apparently turns you into a flesh-eating zombie. Yeah, that’s not a joke. In addition to the Miami case, there was also that guy in New Jersey, and now one in our back yard in Harford County, Maryland.
Bath salt zombies are attacking me, what now?
Defend yourself! If the zombie apocalypse happens, we’re all pretty much on our own. No Maryland lawyer can help you. However, if you get charged with murdering a bath salt zombie, we will certainly defend you with the “zombie tried to eat me” defense (I think I should copyright that).
What do I do if I’m charged with possessing or distributing bath salts?
If you find yourself charged with violating Maryland criminal laws like possession or distribution of bath salts, please call your Maryland lawyer Jeremy Eldridge (because Jeremy Eldridge is much tastier than I). We have several drug treatment providers that we work with and will vigorously defend your legal rights court.