The Florissant City Council took a proactive step last night in preventing the sale of bath salts, the latest popular hallucinogenic in the St. Louis region.
Earlier this month, the passed a ban that prevents the sale of synthetic chemicals labeled as bath salts. Although the bath salts have harmless names, the drugs mimic the effects of cocaine, methamphetamine and ecstasy.
The County Council unanimously passed an emergency ordinance in response to a a 26-year-old St. Charles man who attacked three people at the First Baptist Church in St. Peters after smoking Supercense, a synthetic form of marijuana that was legal.
Ward 7 Florissant City Councilwoman Karen McKay and Ward 4 Councilman Keith English co-sponsored Bill 8725.
The bill would prohibit the sell and possession of bath salts and other synthetic drugs, such as synthetic marijuana, throughout the city of Florissant.
McKay said the St. Charles County ordinance caught her attention, and she brought the question to Florissant Police Chief William Karabas.
“I called the chief and asked his opinion, and he said, ‘Karen, we need to be ahead on this thing,’" she said. “If we have a law here, they’ll go somewhere else.”
English said that he knows there’s a problem with bath salts in Florissant and outside of the boundaries of the city, and he wants to resolve the issue quickly.
Although most councilors were supportive of the bill, a few, including Ward 2 Councilman John Grib and Ward 5 Councilman Keith Schildroth expressed concerns about passing the bill so quickly.
“I’m not opposed to the legislation, but I have concerns about this bill,” Grib said. “Anyone who reads Bill 8725 without a background in organic chemistry doesn’t even know what we’re reading.”
Grib said he wanted further discussion on the bill and wanted to be able to ask some more questions.
The council voted to postpone the bill to the May 10 meeting.
Although the bill was postponed, McKay and English felt confident that the bill would be passed at the next meeting.
“It’s tools that we need to get to the police department,” McKay said.
Police Chief Karabas said that the tool would not benefit the police department but the youth in this community from buying a lethal substance, and, most importantly, it will keep the substances out of the community.