Supreme Court Ruling Could Challenge Indiana Bath Salts Law

Jun 19, 2015

Bath salts are designer drugs that act as stimulants.
Credit Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

A new ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court may complicate Indiana’s plans to eliminate bath salts. Indiana allows the Board of Pharmacy to ban new compounds for the drug on short notice to keep up with changing formulas, but the Supreme Court decision may strike that law.

The Court unanimously voted not to convict a Virginia man for dealing bath salts after ruling prosecutors must prove he knew the chemical compound he dealt and knew it was illegal to distribute them.

Senator Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis) says Indiana will need a new solution for criminalizing bath salts if its law is thrown out.

"Probably the next step is to have another piece of legislation that puts them on schedule one so that bath salts is considered just the same thing as pot," Merritt says. 

Indiana’s bath salts law requires potential dealers to cross-reference three different lists of banned drugs to ensure what they peddle is not illegal.

The Indiana Court of Appeals fell on the same side as the Supreme Court in January when it ruled the state law too confusing. The Indiana Supreme Court will hear arguments in that case next month.