Utica lawmakers take a stand, ban sale and possession of bath salts

The Utica Common Council has voted to ban the sale and possession of bath salts.

On Wednesday night, councilors were unanimous in backing the mayor's plan to outlaw the synthetic drugs.

"We could be at the tip of an explosion in the use of this product," said Jerome McKinsey, a common councilor who spear-headed the ordinance. "I can't understand why because the results are so horrible, but if we're not careful to do something and do it right and do it as best we can, we could see epidemic proportions."

Councilors say they understand just how easy it is for the drug compounds to change so quickly, and they're working to make sure the drugs can't change faster than the laws.

The ordinance is broadly worded to include any and all synthetic drugs, even those that don't exist yet.

"It's an epidemic not only in Utica, but also throughout the area in Central New York, and reaching far greater than that," said Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri.

The new ordinance will make bath salt sale and possession a violation punishable by a $

250 fine or 15 days in jail.

The mayor says he will sign the ordinance by Thursday morning.