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Question of the day

Thursday, Mar 31, 2011

* The setup

Hallucinogenic powders with names like “Ivory Wave,” “White Lightning” and “Zoom” may soon be illegal in Illinois.

The Illinois House Wednesday passed House Bill 2089, which would make the substance MDPV – the key psychoactive ingredient in those powders – illegal.

“These substances are legal in many states, although they have effects similar to cocaine and methamphetamine,” said the sponsor, Rep. Wayne Rosenthal, R-Morrisonville. “They’re sold in convenience stores as ‘bath salts,’ ‘plant food,’ but a 1-ounce package … is sold for $60, and it’s just below the street value of cocaine.”

According to Ivory Wave’s website, the powders sell for $36.31 for 500 milligrams, which is less than 2 percent of one ounce. Bath salts for foot baths typically sell for between $2 and $5 an ounce.

The street value of a comparable amount of cocaine is $80 to $100, according to Montgomery County Sheriff Jim Vazzi, who brought the proposal to Rosenthal.

* The Question: Should this substance be banned? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please. Thanks.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - amalia - Thursday, Mar 31, 11 @ 10:36 am:

    what’s all this about the police taking away my bath salts? i need the bath salts for my bath. I garden, I get tired. Oh…. what? these aren’t those kind of bath salts? Oh, never mind. RIP Gilda/Emily Litella.

  2. - Who Haw - Thursday, Mar 31, 11 @ 10:36 am:

    I think this is another way for them to look like they are doing something productive without tackling the real issues that the state is facing.

  3. - Aldyth - Thursday, Mar 31, 11 @ 10:42 am:

    You have to give the recreational drug industry credit for creative approaches to marketing.

    These are hallucinogens disguised as something else and need to be made illegal.

  4. - Dead Head - Thursday, Mar 31, 11 @ 10:46 am:

    Where can you get an ounce of cocaine for $60?

  5. - MrJM - Thursday, Mar 31, 11 @ 10:57 am:

    If Illinois bans MDPV, won’t neighboring states steal away all of Illinois’ MDPV related jobs?

    Anyone serious about the state’s fiscal woes should oppose this job-killing bill!

    – MrJM

  6. - Matt - Thursday, Mar 31, 11 @ 10:58 am:

    I’m unaware of the health effects that drugs like this cause, and it’s probably because they are new and haven’t been studied much yet.

    But I have the belief that hallucinogens can serve a very positive purpose, when used responsibly. Once in awhile there’s a story of someone whacked out on acid jumping of a roof, but many people use these drugs to explore themselves and the world in an incredibly unique way.

    Use of drugs like this can teach you things about yourself that you would have never thought possible. For example, a Johns Hopkins study found that “Fourteen months after taking the drug, 64 percent of the volunteers said they still felt at least a moderate increase in well-being or life satisfaction, in terms of things like feeling more creative, self-confident, flexible and optimistic. And 61 percent reported at least a moderate behavior change in what they considered positive ways.”

    Now I don’t do things like that anymore. But my point here is simply that the word “hallucinogen” shouldn’t be immediately equated as evil. What’s so evil about sitting in ones home, watching colors swirl, and thinking about things from a new perspective?

    But MDVP may be dangerous and would have to be studied more to see what the health effects are. It could very well be very dangerous.

  7. - Justice - Thursday, Mar 31, 11 @ 10:59 am:

    This drug should be allowed for use by legislators only so they can think they are actually doing what is best for us all. Geesh…perhaps they are already using it?

  8. - just sayin' - Thursday, Mar 31, 11 @ 11:03 am:

    Thank God our long national nightmare is over.

  9. - Because I say so - Thursday, Mar 31, 11 @ 11:07 am:

    I need to start taking more baths.

  10. - wordslinger - Thursday, Mar 31, 11 @ 11:07 am:

    –“They’re sold in convenience stores as ‘bath salts,’ ‘plant food,’ but a 1-ounce package … is sold for $60, and it’s just below the street value of cocaine.”–

    That’s a ludicrous statement. You can’t buy an ounce of Illinois Ditchweed for $60.

    To the question, if the stuff in it is illegal, sure, ban it. Sounds like a pathetic way to get a buzz on, anyway.

  11. - zatoichi - Thursday, Mar 31, 11 @ 11:12 am:

    You can’t fix stupid. If someone said dust balls under your bed gave you a buzz someone would be doing them. Give banning it a go. Won’t stop a determined pro trying hard to thin the herd. Bill seems more like a nice side trip to avoid fixing the budget.

  12. - dupage dan - Thursday, Mar 31, 11 @ 11:16 am:

    Nothing like sitting around doing nothing but taking a drug to make myself feel better. Now, how is that going to solve our fiscal problems? If everyone is sitting around taking a drug that can be manufactured cheaply (especially if it is legal) who’s gonna work, make money and pay taxes to get us out of this mess? Of course, if we’re all feeling more optimistic, maybe we just won’t care.

    Here comes the puritans vs the hedonists debate. And it ain’t even Friday. Ban it.

  13. - Crow04 - Thursday, Mar 31, 11 @ 11:18 am:

    I don’t think they should be banned, but I’m a crazy libertarian who thinks coke should be legal

  14. - JellyBean - Thursday, Mar 31, 11 @ 11:22 am:

    I can’t help but wonder who thought of ingesting bath salts or plant food. At any rate, they should be banned. Are there any cases of overdosing on plant food or bath salts?

  15. - x ace - Thursday, Mar 31, 11 @ 11:36 am:

    If FED’S haven’t scheduled it as a dangerous drug yet, then this Rep may be acting prematurely without adequate evidence.

    Seems that they should proceed on Fed level first and get it scheduled like every other illegal drug. Then , it would automatically fall under existing illegal drug laws.

    Statements made by the Rep make you think he is weak on the facts. He needs to learn that you should have your act together when you grandstand.

  16. - Don Gwinn - Thursday, Mar 31, 11 @ 11:52 am:

    Oh, yes, we’d better hurry up and ban it REALLY FAST, because we’re going to need to keep moving if we’re going to be in time to ban its replacement, and the replacement for that, and the replacement for that.

    Narcotics are like old Soviet weapons systems; they keep coming out with new ones but the old ones aren’t really going anywhere. We know by now that we’re creating this profitable black market by prohibition, and we have the example of alcohol to show us that we can survive a repeal of prohibition, but we’re still trying to put out all these little brush fires.

  17. - MrJM - Thursday, Mar 31, 11 @ 11:54 am:

    So the good people of Illinois can be trusted to carry concealed firearms, but they can’t be trusted to not abuse “Ivory Wave”?

    – MrJM

  18. - Ghost - Thursday, Mar 31, 11 @ 11:54 am:

    banning these from sale does not make them go away, it just drives them underground and drives criminal enterprise by funneling lrge amounts of money to dealers.

    Kep it legal, regulate its sale , tax it! and monitor its content for impurities or substances which would make it lethal.

    banning is the worst way to regualte and control, and all it does is drive criminal enterprise and profit.

  19. - Rule of Law - Thursday, Mar 31, 11 @ 12:10 pm:

    Let’s just jail all these hopped-up plants. They can’t defend themselves in court and won’t cause much trouble behind bars.

    Plus, larger dockets mean more money and jobs for those in the criminal justice industry.

  20. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Mar 31, 11 @ 12:16 pm:

    Just treat the stuff like cold medicine. Make people show an ID and limit the amount you can purchase.

    Or, like cigarettes, tax it at a hundred dollars a pack.

    The real health threat is overeating. So, let’s go ahead and limit how much food a person can buy and make them present an ID when they buy it.

  21. - Anon in BB - Thursday, Mar 31, 11 @ 12:24 pm:

    From a friend that lives in Wilkes-Barre, PA:,0,1033501.story

  22. - Wensicia - Thursday, Mar 31, 11 @ 12:27 pm:

    No wonder my plants look so happy!

    Ban it. Too many of these substances filter down to children.

  23. - Fan of Cap Fax - Thursday, Mar 31, 11 @ 12:45 pm:

    Bath salts ok, but stay away from my bubble bath!

  24. - Cincinnatus - Thursday, Mar 31, 11 @ 1:00 pm:

    Are we concerned about the health risks (in which case they should be treated like smokes) or behavior while under the influence?

    If the former, don’t worry about prohibiting the substance, impose a “Tax on Stupid.”

    If the latter, we should consolidate our current DUI (and other public behavior) laws to talk about the resultant behavior while under the influence of ANY substance, whether it is pot, crack or White Castle Sliders.

  25. - lincoln's beard - Thursday, Mar 31, 11 @ 1:23 pm:

    How about we only allow them to be sold at horse racetracks?

  26. - wishbone - Thursday, Mar 31, 11 @ 1:26 pm:

    Prohibition doesn’t work, never has, never will. The war on drugs does nothing but enrich drug lords. Legalize drugs and spend the money wasted on ineffective enforcement on drug treatment. Works in Portugal, but our politicians are too stupid to try it.

  27. - Cincinnatus - Thursday, Mar 31, 11 @ 1:38 pm:

    Law of unintended consequences:

    Criminalize this stuff, arrest people for possession, throw them in jail, then Rep. Ford can complain more about the census!

  28. - Just a Citizen - Thursday, Mar 31, 11 @ 2:13 pm:

    Don’t make it illegal. Making it illegal is just another way to put more people in prison. Tax it, regulate it, but don’t ban it.

  29. - Anon - Thursday, Mar 31, 11 @ 2:24 pm:

    This is a way to avoid tackling the real issues facing the state. People will obtain drugs whether is is legal or illegal. Face the real problems first, not legislation banning another “K2″ or new state license plate. That said, AFTER they have faced the real problems this should be made illegal for conformity against substances across the board.

  30. - Bitterman - Thursday, Mar 31, 11 @ 2:26 pm:

    Get it out of the stores and back into the ally where it belongs. Big Pharma does not want the competition.

  31. - Plutocrat03 - Thursday, Mar 31, 11 @ 2:36 pm:

    On one hand we bemoan the number of people incarcerated for minor drug offenses, but then we add stuff to the illegal list without any medical/scientific reason.

    Under what condition do you ever take anything off the ‘do not take” list if there was no rational reason to put it on the list the first place.

    I agree that it is another ‘there’s a kitty’ moment in order to allow the legislature to look like it is doing something.

  32. - mokenavince - Thursday, Mar 31, 11 @ 3:12 pm:

    Why bother we could need to remove every thing in our kitchen and bath. Ya know you can keep a man from being a fool but you can’t keep him from being a damn fool.We are turning into the Mommy State.

  33. - vole - Thursday, Mar 31, 11 @ 3:28 pm:

    “Big Pharma does not want the competition.”

    Nah, they probably got some ingredients in there somewhere along the chain. But, the booze lobby definitely does not want the competition, especially from legalized Cannabis. Legalize pot and much of this manufactured toxic insanity would go away.

  34. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Mar 31, 11 @ 3:55 pm:

    I voted to ban it, but I support legalization of pot, so feel free to point out the inconsistency if you must.

    This is just like 5 hour energy and herbal viagra. A bunch of untested, unregulated crap that suckers fall for. It’s snake oil, but because some of us are so stupid, we need to actually ban stuff like this.

    The marketing of it is what I want banned. Not the chemicals itself.

    On the other hand, when is someone going to do something about whippets? CO2 must be banned. It’s marketed as a propellent of whipped cream, but has a higher street value on it own, without the cream.

    How far are we willing to go to deny our citizens the right to chemically alter their states of mind?

  35. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Mar 31, 11 @ 4:44 pm:

    My bad, I meant to refer to nitrous oxide, not carbon dioxide. Obviously chemistry wasn’t my best subject.

    Although I was joking about banning N2O, I’m all for regulating CO2. Is that unintentional irony?

  36. - Cincinnatus - Thursday, Mar 31, 11 @ 4:59 pm:


    I always wonder, what is the perfect temperature we are trying to achieve with our concerns about AGW? Always sounded to me that we were more concerned about the weather than the climate…

  37. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Mar 31, 11 @ 5:13 pm:

    Lol. Thanks for posting the link Cinci. It wasn’t very helpful, but I do hope a lot of Cap Fax readers click on it too, like I did. They can judge for themselves.

    Climate and weather is apples and oranges. Just don’t tell Matt Drudge and James Inhofe. The Economist, liberal rag that it is, thinks it’s way past time to regulate carbon emissions. You disagree. It’s up to each of us to choose.

    Like I said, thanks for posting that link.

  38. - Cincinnatus - Friday, Apr 1, 11 @ 8:40 am:


    Don’t regulate CO2, use a carbon tax instead.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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