Canada Health Ministry Bans Bath Salts Drug

The Canadian government has banned MDPV (methylenedioxypyrovalerone), a synthetic stimulant commonly found in “bath salts” drugs. The ban went into effect last Wednesday, the same day it was announced by Health Canada.

“Our government is committed to protecting hardworking Canadian families and keeping our streets and communities safe,” said Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq in a statement. “That’s why we have moved quickly to make the illicit drug known as “bath salts” illegal to possess, traffic, import or export, unless authorized by regulation.”

The criminalization of MDPV — it is now a Schedule I controlled substance, like heroin and cocaine — had been a promise of the Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Aglukkaq said in July that regulation was forthcoming.

All activities involving MDPV are now illegal, except for research and scientific activities, which must be authorized by regulation. That means that people seeking to use and distribute it will have to resort to underground markets, something that police spokesmen who lauded the move don’t seem to understand.

“Today’s announcement by the Government of Canada to add MDPV in Schedule I of the Controlled Drug and Substances Act is an important step in stopping organized criminal groups from acquiring and profiting from this illegal substance,” said Staff Inspector Randy Franks of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and Acting Chair of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police Drug Abuse Committee.

But as Marni Soupcoff noted in a National Post op-ed critical of the ban, Franks was both taking credit where it was not due and making unwarranted assumptions about how drug markets work.

“The substance, which is a key ingredient in the drug known as ‘bath salts,’ was obviously not illegal before the ban,” Soupcoff wrote. “So it’s circular to credit the ban for stopping the acquisition of something illegal. My bigger problem with the quote is the notion that making a substance illegal stops organized criminals from profiting from it. This is precisely the opposite of how things have gone with alcohol, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, marijuana and pretty much every other illicit drug or beverage in history.”

Instead of prohibiting a relatively new and uncommon drug, Canada could have gone a more rational, public health-oriented way, Soupcoff suggested.

“What else could Canada have done to try to mitigate harm from MDPV?” she asked. “How about public health and education initiatives? Maybe monitoring MDPV sellers to ensure compliance with existing laws (investigating instances of fraud, false advertising, etc.) and creating open forums for MDPV buyers to report complaints, adverse reactions, etc. Heck, Health Canada could even have formally declared the stuff dangerous, no good, terrible, very bad and to be avoided by those who know what’s good for them.”

But instead Canada gets a new addition to its list of banned substances — and a new, underground criminal market to supply it.

– Original article from Stop the Drug War.

‘Bath Salts’ Drug Ingredient Banned in Canada

CBC News



  1. Anonymous on

    What has this to do with cannabis?

    Everything should be legal. When it is illegal, people will continue to use it. Putting resources (time, money) in banning or controlling something is absurd.

    What do they think, that the can ban every single molecule that will be “discovered” and considered unsafe?

    MDPV (discovered 1969) is also one of many ingredients of “bath salts”. They can put anything in there and sell it as “bath salts”. So, this news title is misleading.

  2. pharmacologically informed on

    Yes agreed BAN THEM ALL;

    Ban any “destructive” chemical which has been linked to irrational and violent behaviour as well as being proven to cause oral, stomach, bladder, liver, pancreatic and anal cancers!


    Prohibition NEVER works, but that’s also not a reason to not have it e.g. rape and murder continue despite their bans.

    The real reason PROHIBITION IS WRONG is because no government should be able to jail someone for doing something to their own body!!!

    Keep up the good work CC.

  3. Anonymous on

    who really in his right mind would be against such a measure.
    Bath salts have nothing but absolutely nothing to do with marijuana. It is a destructive substance making people idiots and cannabis culture management should really stick with issues concerning marijuana and forget about all the other poisons that kill youngs and destroy life.Cannabis culture no matter how cool you are trying to look to your audience it comes a time when you have to draw a red line in the sand and this is it.

  4. Anonymous on

    Sounds good to me. Keeping bath salts legal would be like legalizing crack. Might as well stay consistent.