Being the kick-ass, $178,000-a-year-earning public servants they are, L.A. City Council members have attacked the hardcore issues of the day like cat declawing and an Arizona boycott that has gone nowhere while the LAPD makes do with fewer officers on the streets and libraries remain closed on Mondays.
And now Councilman Paul Koretz is working hard for you by proposing a ban on bath salts in the city.
Not any kind of bath salts, mind you ...
... but hallucinogenic, throw-mama-from-the-train bath salts. (The best kind of bath salts ... if you're Lindsay Lohan).
As we reported earlier this week (is Koretz reading us?), bath salts are the new cocaine, sort of. Easily obtainable tabs made of mephedrone and methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) can be crushed and snorted and apparently give one a rush.
(Who crushes and snorts random household products to determine if they can double as a a yay-yo substitute? Is there a Research Institute for the Betterment of Party Favors doing this as we speak? Are they hiring?).
Unfortunately, some people, as always, take it a little too far.
Koretz, who this week introduced a proposal to ban the salts in L.A., notes in a statement issued Wednesday:
"Gun and knife incidents have been reported. Some news reports have included details of especially terrifying situations, such as a man high on the drug tearing the radar unit out of a law enforcement vehicle with his teeth, and a woman trying to behead her mother with a machete while hallucinating that her mother was a monster."
(Way to do your research, councilman. You must have a real crack staff over there on the Westside).
But seriously, there have been four deaths linked to bath-salt abuse, and 250 emergency room visits last month alone (versus zero in 2009).
Instead of letting the federal government work on this (U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer is working on a law that would ban these tasty salts nationwide) or even having the state enact it's own law, Koretz is going citywide on this one:
" ... Even teens and pre-teens can buy the stuff without anything stopping them, which is particularly disturbing and cause for immediate action," he says.
This here is a little game we play:
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The media grabs on a hot story (people snorting bath salt -- how much more awesome of a story could we get?), and politicians seize the moment by proposing no-brainer, inconsequential (particularly if the feds make a move), easy-to-pass laws that make them look like they care (while potholes eat your car).
In reality, however, the extra press just makes people more curious about the finer effects of bath salts. It certainly has made us curious. Let's just a predict a spike in bath-salt partying before authorities get a handle on them. Some star or starlet will certainly get caught on YouTube freebasing bath salt any day now. And then it snowballs.
So there's your public service announcement, and your public servants at work.
But before you go rushing off to Bed Bath & WAY Beyond to get your hands on a tab, just know that they don't carry this particular elixer (darn). But you can get it online.