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July 15, 2011

Associated Press

COLUMBUS — Synthetic recreational drugs, including crystals called “bath salts,” will be banned in Ohio under a bill signed by Gov. John Kasich.

The governor on Friday signed legislation outlawing the possession, use and sale of the drugs already banned by some Ohio communities.

The legislation makes penalties for possession or trafficking of the drugs — including those known as bath salts, K2 or Spice — the same as those for marijuana. It makes possession a misdemeanor and trafficking near a school or juvenile a felony.

Bath salts are crystalized chemicals that are snorted, swallowed or smoked. They can cause paranoia and hallucination, and their use has led to hundreds of calls to poison centers nationwide. They have been sold legally in gas stations, tobacco shops and other businesses.