Miami-Dade County, Fla., commissioners agreed Tuesday to a plan to outlaw the sale of "bath salts," a synthetic over-the-counter drug that is often associated with violence.
Health authorities plan to ban synthetic marijuana as well.
Bath salts are often easily purchased at convenience stores under brand names like Blue Silk, Hurricane Charley and Ivory Snow. They are often inhaled, smoked or digested by users in order to get an intense high, the Miami Herald reported.
The ban on the substances will be up for final approval by the county board on July 3, reported CBS.
The ordinance would also outlaw advertising or displaying any product similar to bath salts or other banned substances. Violators could face fines or jail time.
- FOLLOW IBTIMES
Police informed the commissioners last month that they have seen an increase in hospital visits by people using the substances, some of whom appeared to be extremely aggressive.
Last month, it was rumored that Rudy Eugene, known as the "Causeway Cannibal," had ingested bath salts before he chewed off half of Ronald Poppo's face on the MacArthur Causeway.
Last year, Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed a law banning bath salts, but manufacturers have been able to push these synthetic drugs onto the market by tweaking their chemical makeup, sidestepping state laws, the Miami Herald reported.
Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan signed a series of bills on Tuesday that ban similar synthetic drugs. The measures crack down on the companies that make the products and give state health officials the power to ban those that are deemed dangerous to the user's health, according to the Detroit Free Press.
"We're all elated," said Lisa Kelly, the mother of a 20-year-old son addicted to the substance, reported The Detroit Free Press.
After witnessing firsthand what these substances can do, Kelly said she hoped to draw attention to the problem by speaking at educational forums.
"I'm a whistleblower," she said.
One of the Michigan bills updates a list of banned substances and outlaws possession or sale beginning July 1. The other three bills will go into the effect immediately, allowing the state Department of Community Health and Board of Pharmacy to ban any item they believe is an imminent danger to the public's health.
"If the director of the Department of Community Health determines that something's very dangerous, she can call the Board of Pharmacy in," said state Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, a bill sponsor, according to the Detroit Free Press. "Within two weeks the product should be off the shelf."
This article is copyrighted by International Business Times, the business news leader