When you hear that Councilmember Mary Cheh has introduced a ban on bath salts and plant food later today, you shouldn’t freak out and start hoarding epsom salts and Miracle Grow. The bath salts and plant food in question are slang names for a synthetic stimulant called mephedrone, MDPV and methylone. These aren’t the kind you’d get at Lush or a garden center. They skirt the existing laws by being sold as bath salts or plant food, hence the name. Going by product names like Vanilla Sky, or Purple Wave, or Ivory Wave, the drugs carry with them a pretty awful list of effects, including hyperthermia, renal failure, chest pain, hallucination and suicidal tendencies.
The proposed Cheh law mirrors federal scheduling of these substances as illegal for sale.