DEA cracks down on synthetic drugs

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Drug Enforcement Administration has arrested 91 people and seized more than $36 million in cash in a nationwide crackdown on people who make and sell designer drugs.

Agents raided smoke shops and other sellers of synthetic drugs that have been linked to psychotic episodes and deaths of users. The drugs have become a popular alternative to traditional street drugs.

The DEA says agents in 31 states also seized 4.9 million packets of synthetic marijuana and material to make 13.6 million more packages. They also seized 167,000 packages of bath salts and materials to make many more.

Bath salts can mimic the effects of cocaine, LSD and methamphetamine.

President Barack Obama this month signed into law a measure that bans the sale, production and possession of many of the chemicals found in the most popular synthetic drugs.

Experts who have studied the drugs estimate that there are more than 100 different bath-salt chemicals circulating.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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