MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan --
Contrary to what you may have seen on the news, heard about on the radio or what countless Marines have no doubt debated and argued over the dead have not risen from their graves. There is something far more sinister which infects the minds of men and women. It’s called bath salts.
These aren’t the bath salts many may remember from sports in their youth, bathing in Epsom salt after a tough practice or workout.
“Bath salts are a synthetic derivative of something called cathinone, which is a central nervous system stimulant,” said Agent Michael C. Bengs, acting station Criminal Investigation Division chief investigator.
Bath salts are a unique compound of drug. Though, bath salts are themselves not illegal, the chemicals it’s comprised of, known as Mephedrone, Methylenedioxpyrovalerone and Methylone, make them illegal in some places, as cathinones can mimic the mindaltering effects of cocaine, LSD, MDMA and certain other methamphetamines.
It’s when the effects of the drug wear off that users begin a downward spiral and crash.
Users may experience a number of symptoms such as Insomnia, agitation and irritability. In cases which seem more and more common, a user’s perception of reality is greatly altered.
Bath salts have been attributed by several news agencies as the cause of the inhuman monster in Florida recently biting off another man’s face. Salts are suspected in another Florida attack and yet a new case in New York, this time with a woman biting police.
The drug is labeled “not intended for human consumption” on store shelves, making it difficult for civilian and military authorities to keep out of abusers' hands.
“The Federal Analog Act had a big problem that they’re still trying to fix, in that if it wasn’t marketed for human consumption, a person couldn’t be charged. So you could have something that was similar to cocaine and produce effects similar to cocaine, but if it was marketed for say incense or bath salts, then you couldn’t charge them under the Federal Analog Act because it wasn’t marketed for human consumption,” said Bengs.
This is also partially why bath salt has a myriad of street names such as Bliss, Ocean Burst, Pure Ivory, Potpourri and an assortment of other titles.
“That is their loophole for getting around federal law, and making it so to say, legal for purchase,” said Bengs.
If for whatever reason, bath salts become an inherent danger to the populace, the government has the authority to intervene.
According to Bengs, in 1984 the Federal Government passed an Act stating that they had the right to intervene when the health and lives of the people were at risk, and in Oct. of 2011 they did just that. Brands of bath salts are considered controlled substances. Government agancies have until Oct. 12, 2012 to study and make further determinations about this drug.
The Marine Corps has a zero tolerance policy in regards to this and any drug.
Bath salts can take away a servicemember’s job, mind and life. Hold yourself and your fellow servicemembers to a higher standard and be accountable for your actions.