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K2, Spice, “Bath Salts” Not Legal in Iowa

The following is a message from the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy.

The short version of the new law is summarized in my title. K2/Spice (synthetic marijuana) is no longer legal to possess or sell in Iowa. Until now, this could be found at various head shops, over-the-counter, in Iowa City. Now, please be advised that carrying these substances carries a higher penalty than carrying actual marijuana.

Please see the Governor’s message below:

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad today signed into law legislation (SF 510) that outlaws newer and potentially dangerous drugs. The new law classifies synthetic designer drugs known as synthetic cannabinoids and so called “bath salts” as Schedule One Controlled Substances in the State of Iowa. The new designation means these products have no medicinal value and are illegal to sell, manufacture, or possess. The new law also applies to the organic drug Salvia divinorum.

The penalty for the manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to deliver any of these substances is an aggravated misdemeanor. The penalty for possession of these substances is a serious misdemeanor.

Synthetic cannabinoids—such as K2—can cause vomiting, elevated blood pressure, seizures, anxiety, intense hallucinations and panic attacks. So-called “bath salts”—such as MDPV—can cause rapid heartbeats, elevated blood pressure, hallucinations, paranoia, depression and violence. Salvia divinorum can cause dizziness, impairment, hallucinations, depression and schizophrenia.

Criminal penalties for violation of the synthetic cannabinoids such as K-2, Spice are effective immediately.

Legislative language seems to suggest that criminal penalties for bath salts and salvia will take effect thirty days from today, giving retail sellers time to transfer the newly banned products to the Iowa Department of Public Safety for destruction. Others have interpreted this legislation to make criminal penalties for bath salts and salvia effective sixty-days after enactment. Please see an analysis by Assistant Iowa Attorney General Pete Grady for further information on the effective for bath salts and Saliva.

Iowa’s new law banning all three substances and the analysis by assistant Attorney General Grady are available at the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy (ODCP) website.

8 Responses

  1. Josie

    If it weren’t for the prohibition of marijuana, folks would not buy k2 incense alternatives. Why would they? If people had legal access to the real deal they would not be hunting down k2 herb and the like. Just as the government has wasted endless resources chasing down marijuana, now they are going to do the same with this incense stuff. It is ridiculous and wasteful in more ways than one. How long have these products been banned, and there are still places advertising legal everywhere products like those found at —————–.

  2. Martina Kelm

    Ok This is confusing if K2 is illegal to possess in Iowa then why is the Local tobacco shops in Cedar Rapids still allowing citizens to still purchase this K2. I want to know why its still on the shelf for you to buy when supposedly its illegal in Iowa. There license to operate a business or to hold a tobacco and alcohol permit should be ripped away from them for still selling K2. Thank you

  3. Offended civilian

    Salvia divinorum is a variety of sage that when smoked, produces dissociative effects. It has been studied thoroughly and is proven to have no detrimental side effects. Schizophrenia? What a joke. Iowa lawmakers should do their research before banning naturally occuring, and indeed harmless substances. Thank you.

  4. john doe

    marijuana should be legal and taxed and sold in every store. the world be a better place. all i have to say is watch the union the business behind getting high and it is on netflix and the tell how you feel about marijuana

  5. Anonymous

    Question, i have a friend opening a “head shop” ( Tobacco products, pipes,waterpipes,etc. ) Downtown Iowa City on Gilbert Street and she wants information on this. She wants to sell the incense known as Bizzaro because it’s a popular seller, but she wants to be doing the real deal and legal business. There is another head shop downtown known as, Zombies. They have been known to sell incense like bizzaro, but when a friend had gone in to ask they said they didn’t sell “synthetic”. I’ve been told they do but you must use the correct term for it like, incense, aromas, and you can’t sell it to someone who uses the wrong term showing that they are buying the product to consume it. So let’s say she were to sell it, with a clear label saying NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION and clearly stated the penalties would it be legal. Please reply to this, and thank you for reading.

    1. Mark Thompson

      I have been asked to comment upon the legality of selling synthetics before, its never an easy question. Nobody knows what actual chemical compounds they are selling, or which ones are actually illegal under Iowa or federal law. Even before the recent big busts by the feds and ICPD, I have advised people to not sell any of these synthetics. It’s a rather large risk, and the legality is questionable at best.

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