State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) and State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) were in attendance when Governor Rauner signed Senate Bill 210 into law this week. Rep. Bourne and Sen. Manar were both sponsors of the legislation, which creates the Bath Salt Prohibition Act. Under this new law, a retailer that is convicted of selling bath salts can have their retail license revoked and guilty offenders can be charged with a Class 3 felony.
These synthetic drugs, classified as cathinones, more commonly known as “bath salts”, are highly intoxicating and unpredictable in their effects. These drugs are being sold under the disguise of bath salts, plant food, and jewelry cleaner and were technically legal until 2011. In 2011, in response to the increased synthetic drug epidemic nationwide, Rep. Wayne Rosenthal introduced HB 2089. This legislation placed a ban on certain ingredients in cathinones and provided law enforcement some leverage to crack down on this epidemic.
“This bill is a small step towards tackling what remains a devastating issue in our communities. These highly addictive synthetic drugs continue to wreak havoc on our communities and throughout the country,” said Bourne. “It is my hope that this new law will limit access and spark discussions on how we can continue to crack down on this epidemic.”
Senator Manar explained on the floor of the Illinois Senate, “This simply gives them (States Attorneys) a few more tools to battle what is a growing problem in rural areas of the state, the use of bath salts.”
Additionally, Rep. Bourne proudly co-sponsored HB 3660 which allows banned substances to be added by administrative rule as the synthetic drug manufacturers adapt. The dynamic nature of these synthetic drugs allows manufacturers to slightly change the chemical ingredients to get around the current ban. She also sponsored HB 6112 that strengthens and broadens the current ban.