Updated Wed, Nov 14, 2012 1:49 pm
Ohio's attorney general is announcing a crackdown on the sale and abuse of synthetic drugs such as bath salts and herbal incense.
Attorney General Mike DeWine announced Wednesday he will warn stores about criminal charges and civil lawsuits they could face for any involvement in making or distributing such drugs.
His office is also proposing a law to end what a prosecutor calls a "cat-and-mouse" game involving chemists changing synthetic drugs' molecular content to keep them legal.
Matt Donahue, a special prosecutor with the Ohio attorney general's office, said current Ohio law bans a particular chemical compound used to make such drugs.
Donahue said individuals who manufacture the drugs are altering the drugs' chemical makeup in a way that makes prosecuting individuals for possession of such drugs impossible under Ohio law.
The proposed law would ban the practice of adding extra compounds to these drugs to skirt the law.
DeWine also announced a new effort to train police officers statewide to help them identify and handle synthetic drug cases.
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.