Sweetwater

Sweetwater mayor calls for bath-salt ban after attack

 

mrutland@MiamiHerald.com

Sweetwater Mayor Manny Maroño hopes to ban bath salts in the city in reaction to the infamous face-eating rage near the MacArthur Causeway in Miami.

The possible ban differs from a current statewide bath salts ban because it would block the sale of products based on their size, rather than their chemical makeup.

Maroño hopes to ban salts that are packaged in gram containers, which he said is a tip-off for illegal substances.

“No legitimate bath salts will be sold in that way,” he said.

Some have speculated that Rudy Eugene was under the influence of the psychotic-like drugs when he attacked another man and gnawed off his face. The drugs, which are not made up of the same material as the crystals that foam up bath tubs, are labeled as “not for human consumption” in order to avoid being classified as illegal.

Maroño wants to ban bath salts to avoid the possibility that the drug could be shipped into stores alongside harmless bath salts used for sore muscles, according to a city news release.

He said the state ban isn’t strict enough because people can remove the banned chemical from the versatile drug to make it legal again.

If people try to slide around the city’s ban by making the containers slightly larger or smaller than the specified amount, Maroño said, the city will adjust its ordinance accordingly.

“They always seem to find a way to skirt the law,” he said. “We’re going to be chasing this problem.”

He also wants to put restrictions on potpourri head off shipments of fake marijuana from reaching mini-markets.

Sweetwater previously banned synthetic marijuana in a similar manner, and Maroño hopes to get the new ban through in about 30 days.

“I feel it’s important as a parent and as a father,” he said. “We’re supposed to be out there to protect those who can’t help themselves, and addicts can’t help themselves.”

Read more Causeway Attack stories from the Miami Herald

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