By Esme Murphy

By Esme Murphy, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The name sounds innocent enough: “Bath Salts.” But police said it is the latest dangerous and even deadly drug trend.

This past weekend, a Hudson, Wis. teen was arrested for driving under the influence of the drug which has as similar an effect as cocaine or methamphetamine.

Grant Eugene Leonard, 19, was arrested and booked into the St. Croix County Jail over the weekend on driving high on bath salts.

The product is sold on the internet and even in retail stores for about $45 for a small jar. It is laid out in lines and snorted. Experts said the effect is similar to doing cocaine.

“These are the chemical compounds that are sold on the internet as bath salts but are actually intended to be consumed by people to get high,” said Carol Falkowski with the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

The Minnesota Poison Control Agency had heard of just four cases of people overdosing on bath salts last year.

So far this year, there have already been 25. Leonard was arrested after driving erratically on Highway 12 east of Hudson, Wis., authorities said. The St. Croix County Sheriff’s Department said the deputy who pulled over Leonard spotted a white substance under his nostril.

Leonard told the deputy it was bath salt that he had snorted, and that they were purchased in Hudson. Bath salts can produce more than a high, they can have serious and deadly side effects.

Experts said they produce hallucinations, heart palpitations, increased respiration and delusions.

While Leonard is in the process of facing charges, the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Department said it does not plan to investigate where or how he got the bath salts.

“Being that bath salts are legal, at this time there is nothing that we can pursue,” said Captain Jeff Klatt.

Bath salts are legal in Minnesota, too. But the state of Mississippi is moving to ban them, as are a number of other states.

Comments (15)
  1. L says:

    Ban bath salts and they’ll find something else to get high on….

  2. war on our lifes says:

    So……how much money has been spent on “the war on drugs”? Glad it has been so litte and the effect has been so great! Give it up already. Spend the money on helping homeless or something to actualy make our nation better! But who the hell snifs bath salts??? Hahaha kids these days.

  3. Norge says:

    Lets make the War on drugs exactly that..a real WAR, 10years for posession, first offence, death penalty for sale or distribution. Spend money on the ‘homeless’ mostare homeless because of drugs. If we want to fight drug use then fight to win and kill the losers…period, otherwise we’re just playing ‘public relations politics’. And we better fight it soon as Texas, AZ, and New Meixico are all becoming more and more like Mexico, and we can all see how well loose drug-enforcement worked out there!!

    1. thoththebuilder says:

      Umm we already tried that and all it ended up doing was filling the prisons with minor drug offender most of them minorities. The problem with the “Drug War” was that the police refused to enforce it in the suburbs or the White Ghettos which is why you have a meth problem in YOUR communities now. It went unchecked for so long because White drugs good Black drugs bad Law Enforcement Theory. 20 years after the Crack epidemic it’s almost impossible to find a young black person trying it but those suburban youth….they just keep finding ways to get high.

      1. Lee says:

        That’s an absurd argument. Drug enforcement includes white people too. Your claim police don’t enforce it in white communities is a flat out lie. Drug use most often goes hand and hand with poverty, bad parenting, and self destructive cultural influences. Drugs arrest happen where the drugs and other crimes are, irregardless of race. And the meth problem in Minnesota has decreased drastically due to regulations on the ingredients to make it.

    2. Todd says:

      Yeah, that will work. Stuff a bunch of prisons full of non violent offenders and let the child abusers and rapist out. Pohibition does not work, period. You could have the death sentence for a joint and people are still going to use it all you are going to do is make it more expensive which relates to more drive bys and more violence. The US spends billions a year just on domestic mariujuana eradication and they admit they get less than 1% and that is a high estimate. It’s easier for a high school student to get pot than it is to get booze, that shows that legalization works.

      Give it up, legalize it.

  4. Jonas says:

    Ain’t that just great. Now thru your article you’ve told some not only what they are,
    what they do, and how to get them, but also that they are legal. I know, I know……
    they’d just find out anyway. Just don’t get it any more.

    1. thoththebuilder says:

      I see your point Jonas but I didn’t rush to go get some when I read it, niether did you. I’m gonna make a safe bet that if your son or daughter read this, they wouldn’t go get some either because they were raised in a stable environment with parents that care and stay on their tails.
      We know who the teen drug addicts are and why they turn to them. It’s not because of a news article either

  5. Bill says:

    Dear Norge,
    Check your self before you wreck us all. Incarcerating all that use drugs, legal or otherwise, natural or synthetic. How many incarcerated for drugs are cured and rehabilitated? Is that free? No. “War on drugs” is like “war on terrorism”. Such phraseology may be easy to sell, but falls short of actually addressing social problems in a meaningful way.

  6. Josh says:

    “Bath salts” in this case is slang. Why the various news sites don’t seem to be able to tell you what the drug is actually called is beyond me. The “bath salts” in question are methylenedioxypyrovalerone. But it’ll be easier to just google “MDPV”

    1. thoththebuilder says:

      From the father of two young boys…Thank you Josh because I was just about to go throw our Epsom Salt away. Ever think about a job in journalism. Seems you have it better than CBS or Yahoo. I’m about to go look it up now.

  7. st paul says:

    I wish they’d play those commercials again.

    “nobody ever says, “I wanna be a druggie when I grow up”…….. lol

  8. LilChompStomp says:

    I wonder, how many idiot kids are going to go home and try sniffing their Mom’s lavendar/eucalyptus/herbal/etc bath salts trying to get high? I mean, thinking back to when I was a teenager, and most other kids I knew all they would hear out of this story is…bath salts…snort like cocaine…get high. Then again, that was IF they actually hear or read this…

  9. momandsteelerfan says:

    When we were kids, the things that we tried to get high didn’t kill us. I remember drinking vanilla extract because someone told us it would give us a buzz – we just got stomach aches. We sniffed amyl nitrate (spell check!), got a rush for about a second, then a nasty headache. This has nothing to do with the war on drugs – it’s kids who don’t have the home life they need, not to keep them from trying, but to keep them from continuing. Let’s spend more money on teaching parents how to parent as single parents because, like it or not, that’s the way society is going. Kids don’t have their role models living in their homes anymore, so they look elsewhere. That’s why there are so many problems. It’s always been blamed on bad parenting for a reason, whether it’s you or your kid’s friend’s parents.

  10. Caleb says:

    You are all so ignorant. The use of cannabis, LSD, psychedelic mushrooms, and DMT, if practiced with responsibility and respect, can provide great spiritual healing and self-actualization. I am a psychologist and I believe experimenting with consciousness is vital to understanding who you really are. I have gained extensive perspective, and experienced things within my subconscious that have truly been religious experiences in nature. I am no threat to society. I cherish life and respect all living things. I love all of you.
    Abusing drugs that provide stimulant effects like COFFEE, or painkilling effects, can only provide aggression and serious emotional problems as well as addiction. These drugs are bad, and I hate them as much as you all do.
    but please do not throw all drug-users under the “disgusting, criminal, degenerate. psycho” stereotype bus. I am a perfectly decent human being and a respectable and mellow member of society.

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