Warrenton to Ban Bath Salts, Fake Pot

By Tim Schmidt, Record Editor
Posted 11/7/19

The city of Warrenton is moving forward with plans to adopt an ordinance banning “bath salts” and fake marijuana. By doing so, the city will become the third local municipality to join the ranks …

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Warrenton to Ban Bath Salts, Fake Pot


The city of Warrenton is moving forward with plans to adopt an ordinance banning “bath salts” and fake marijuana. By doing so, the city will become the third local municipality to join the ranks of other communities that have outlawed synthetic drugs. The popularity with synthetic drugs, such as “bath salts” and fake pot, has grown statewide and nationally as users have been able to avoid detection by federal regulators and law enforcement officials. Both are being sold legally at convenience stores, head shops or on the Internet. The “bath salts” drug can be smoked, snorted or injected and has effects similar to methamphetamine, PCP and other drugs. The fake pot, which is commonly been referred to as K-2 or K-3, includes chemicals that provide a marijuana-like high when smoked. Police Chief Greg Houdyshell recommended at Tuesday’s board of aldermen meeting that the city move forward with an ordinance that would ban the synthetic drugs. He was directed by Mayor Greg Costello at the previous meeting May 3 to look into whether the city should pass an ordinance regulating the latest imitation drugs. Aldermen are expected to act on the proposed ban at their next meeting on June 7. In a survey of retail shops in the city, Houdyshell found no businesses were selling “bath salts” or synthetic marijuana. He noted that the general consensus from business owners was that they had no desire to sell the drugs in the future. Houdyshell said his officers had reported only one incident involving “bath salts” where a man acting erratically was believed to be under the influence of the drug. “If we take the measures now, that should curtail those activities,” he told The Record. “Anything that is a threat to the community it’s important the board gets behind it.” Costello acknowledged the city’s stance will be a message to drug users. “Obviously it’s very dangerous,” he said. “It’s not being sold here and it will not be sold here. It’s obviously something we don’t want to see. It’s very dangerous to young adults.” In March, Truesdale became the first local municipality to pass an ordinance banning “bath salts.” A month later, Wright City put similar regulations in place, as have Washington, Troy and St. Charles County. The Missouri House of Representatives last week passed legislation to outlaw “bath salts“ and expanded the ban on synthetic marijuana. The bill is awaiting final approval from Gov. Jay Nixon. The bill was previously passed by the Senate, according to The Associated Press. Last year, state lawmakers outlawed K-2, but drug users created another form of the drug with a different formula to skirt around the law. Also at Tuesday’s meeting, Houdyshell and city attorney Chris Graville recommended the city shy away from adopting a law making pseudoephedrine available only by prescription within the city limits. Pseudoephedrine is a common ingredient used in making meth. The city’s stance follows a decision last week where state senators defeated a bill requiring a prescription for those purchasing some cold and allergy medications containing pseudoephedrine. The House had passed the bill 86-64 on May 9. Houdyshell said a statewide database that tracks the purchase of pseudoephedrine appears to be working well. “When you look at this, you really need to weigh the benefits and who it’s going to hurt and who it’s going to help,” Houdyshell told the board. “In this case, it makes the common cold sufferer suffer a lot. Everybody doesn’t have a readily available doctor to get a prescription.”