Bath salts are becoming a nightmare for police and public officials.
"It's a growing problem and we're all recognizing it," Barre Mayor Thom Lauzon said.
Lauzon has been battling a bath salt addiction in his city for more than a year. Now he's concentrating his efforts on the vendors.
"I just want to have a conversation with them about what they're selling and what it's doing to our community and quite frankly give them the opportunity to voluntarily stop. If they don't want to do that, I will continue to be all up in their face," Lauzon said.
We tried to talk to a smoke shop in Barre. We were asked to leave.
The governor thought a statewide ban last year on the four active ingredients in bath salts would take care of the problem.
"Then these manufacturers and creeps go out and frankly put new ingredients in that suddenly make our rules no longer pertinent," said Gov. Peter Shumlin, D-Vermont.
And those new formulations are still just as dangerous. What used to be called bath salts now go by names like Final Cut and Amp. Even though they're legal to buy, the powdery substances still cause kidney failure and cardiac arrest. So the governor is working with the Vt. Health Department to draft a more effective emergency ban by the end of the week.
"This emergency rule will add over 30 bath salt-type compounds and we're also adding a generic description of the class of compounds, so that we can hopefully stay ahead of manufacturers who are tweaking chemicals to make them fall outside of what we have on our list," said Sarah Vose of the Vt. Health Department.
"We want to make sure we have rules in Vermont that are broad enough so that any police officer in this state can go in bust any store owner selling this junk," Shumlin said.
Officials admit it won't be easy to compete with the chemical manufacturers skilled in morphing their products around the language of the law. But they're confident it's a problem they can stamp out if they don't back down.
"You stay ahead of it by continually amending and changing the list of banned substances," Lauzon said.
State health boards will review and approve those 30 additional ingredients that officials want added to the regulated drug list. They'll then hand it off to Health and Human Services Secretary Doug Racine. He's expected to sign off Friday and the governor says he plans to give his approval on July 25.
New Hampshire has done what Vermont is trying to do. They're legislation outlaws a much broader swath of compounds. In New York the attorney general is targeting retailers; suing 16 of them, including two in Plattsburgh, for violating New York's labeling laws which require products list what's in them, where they're made and packed.
Monday, May 20 2013 8:58 AM EDT2013-05-20 12:58:35 GMT
Hunters who want to weigh in on the state's deer hunting season have two more chances to share their opinions. The hearings cover the state's deer management plan, last year's deer season, the severityMore >>
Hunters who want to weigh in on the state's deer hunting season have two more chances to share their opinions.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 8:54 AM EDT2013-05-20 12:54:09 GMT
We've spent much of the last week covering the bills that will soon be law. But, one big bill stalled at the very end of the session -- campaign finance reform. The bill aimed to tighten restrictionsMore >>
We've spent much of the last week covering the bills that will soon be law. But, one big bill stalled at the very end of the session -- campaign finance reform.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 8:46 AM EDT2013-05-20 12:46:47 GMT
When you first step foot onto Independence farm you feel like you're living in a children's book. You'll meet a lamb who spends his day snuggling with the bunnies, a blind hen who is kept company by herMore >>
When you first step foot onto Independence farm you feel like you're living in a children's book.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 4:52 AM EDT2013-05-20 08:52:37 GMT
The Paramount Theater in Rutland, is looking at diversifying their shows, and the city may help cover the costs. The theater is in the works of purchasing a high-definition projector and other equipmentMore >>
The Paramount Theater in Rutland, is looking at diversifying their shows, and the city may help cover the costs.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 4:49 AM EDT2013-05-20 08:49:35 GMT
Governor Peter Shumlin will sign Vermont's new end of life legislation into law Monday, nearly 10 years after advocates started their push. Once signed, the law takes effect immediately. Several VermontMore >>
Governor Peter Shumlin will sign Vermont's new end of life legislation into law Monday, nearly 10 years after advocates started their push.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 8:39 PM EDT2013-05-20 00:39:09 GMT
"Awesome -- I lost it when I finished I have to say, but it was great. It was great," said Amy Sullivan. The 2013 Boston Marathon runner was all smiles as she and 450 other runners crossed the finishMore >>
A race in southern Vermont Sunday gave runners who were unable to finish the Boston Marathon a second chance at the finish line.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 8:38 PM EDT2013-05-20 00:38:13 GMT
They come from all over the state and wait in line for hours. "It's become sort of a yearly event for us. We've been doing it for eight or nine years now -- we're having a blast," said Ed Sayers ofMore >>
Dozens of drivers gathered in Chelsea for a record setting road rally -- full of riddles that keep drivers and passengers on their toes.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 8:36 PM EDT2013-05-20 00:36:52 GMT
College graduation season is in full swing -- and Sunday in Burlington it was a big one. A crowd of nearly 10,000 attended the 211th commencement ceremony at the University of Vermont.In all, more thanMore >>
A crowd of nearly 10,000 attended the 211th commencement ceremony at the University of Vermont.More >>