If you were to Google the words “bath salts” today, June 5, 2012, you would immediately see a string of links relating to a recent incident in which Miami Police shot dead a naked man who was in the process of eating another man’s face. If you were to conduct an internet search consisting of the assailant or victim’s name or any phrases that specifically relate to the incident you would likewise be immediately reminded of these mysterious bath salts. And if you were not particularly sensitive to concepts like alarmism and our government’s history of proactive and deceptive fear mongering, you might assume that there was sufficient enough evidence to suggest a relationship between the horrifying act and the aforementioned substance.
Headlines like “Miami's 'Naked Zombie' Proves Need to Ban Bath Salts, Experts Say” via US News & World Report, and “Bath salts: Officials say the synthetic drug in disguise was behind recent ‘cannibal’ attack” via New York Daily News are hypnotizing scared parents, squares, and even cool people across the globe despite the fact that, as of now, there is little-to-no evidence that supports the claim the designer drug was ever consumed. No toxicology results and no documentation—not even any hearsay of perpetrator Rudy Eugene being connected in any way to hard or designer drugs. Leaving the only thing we can responsibly say Eugene consumed that day was another man’s face.
It appears that the genesis of this buzz avalanche began with a CBS Miami broadcast that interviewed President of Miami Fraternal Order of Police Armando Aguilar, a peculiar fellow, who would continue to go on a crusade of bath salt speculation, strangely conflating LSD, bath salts and cannibalism:
“We have seen already,” Aguilar said “three or four cases that are exactly like this, where some people have admitted to taking LSD.”
First off, “exactly like this”? Dude is clearly not aware of the concept of words having specific meanings, which becomes very apparent when he conflates LSD, a psychedelic substance of the Ergoline family, with bath salts, a new blanket term used to market an array of grey market designer amphetamines and other bad things that are definitely in no way related to LSD.
The segment continues to bewilder when they interview an E.R. Doctor.
“He (E.R. Doctor Paul Adams) says the new LSD is commonly called ‘bath salts.’”
So not only are they conflating two non-related drugs, they are connecting this “new LSD” with cannibalism, which has since been echoed in the countless headlines of major, local and even seemingly progressive media outlets. And while most reports qualify their statements with something along the lines of “experts say” or “according to officials,” none of them bother to mention that this accusation is completely unfounded and that people have been committing gruesome and often unexplainable crimes long before bath salts showed up to the party.
And now, in the wake of this probably-not-bath-salt related tragedy, we have everyone, local and federal, even Canadians, pushing for a ban not only on bath salts but also “synthetic marijuana” and other designer drugs. Not to say that bath salts shouldn’t be banned or that they were not involved, but forming drug policy around blatant conclusion-jumping and deception seems (or at least is should) antiquated. This is the same methodology that got marijuana outlawed. Like, weed was literally being blamed for murder, rape, and Satanism. High School kids write term papers about this bizarre and transparent concept all the time yet—at least in this particular case—everyone seems OK with it. Bunch of fucking zombies.