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Illinois has become the latest state to ban “bath salts,” according to the Los Angeles Times. Until now, bath salts have been sold legally at convenience stores and tobacco shops in the state. The drug provides a hallucinogenic high that is similar to Ecstasy. The new law adds chemical compounds used in making bath salts to the list of the state’s Schedule I controlled substances.

Another new law signed by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn adds certain synthetic equivalents of marijuana, including “K2” and “Spice,” to the Illnois Controlled Substances Act as Schedule I controlled substances.

Emergency rooms are seeing a growing number of people high on bath salts, which can cause long-lasting and dangerous effects. Bath salts have grown increasingly popular in the last year. The drugs come in powder and crystal form, and are snorted, injected or smoked. The American Association of Poison Control Centers says poison control centers received 3,470 calls about bath salts during the first six months of this year, a jump from 303 calls in all of 2010.

Governor Quinn also signed a bill that expands the definition of a drug-induced homicide to include the absorption of a controlled substance. According to a news release from the Governor’s office, the bill is designed to close a loophole in state law to prevent the abuse of prescription pain-killing fentanyl patches.

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