From The Niagara Gazette:

…Jillian Snider, a John Jay College of Criminal Justice adjunct lecturer and 13-year New York Police Department officer with a background in narcotics investigations, said bath salts fall into a tricky legal area at the state level.

“Bath salts are almost a way to circumvent that illegality,” she said. “At the state level, except cannabis, we mimic federal controlled substance acts. Bath salts as it stands is not actually a listed drug, even though it has similar effects of crystal meth or ecstasy.”

Outlawing specific chemical compounds can also be a logistical strain, Snider said, especially for smaller municipalities without many resources for testing. “It would be really hard to do that (testing),” she said “How good is your lab? It could take forever to do that…”

Snider said a local law is among the fastest ways to give law enforcement the tools to tackle an issue like synthetic drugs. “You could do something at the local level; it takes so much time at the state level. There’s always local ordinances. If you’re seeing an increase in usage, the best means would be a local-level ordinance.”

“They had to create a statutory code specific to the possession of synthetic cannabinoids,” she said of New York City’s response to synthetic cannabinoid K2. “Under New York City regulations, we had the ability to write criminal court summons. It was their quick reaction to the problem.”