Hawaii Targeting Growing Use of “Bath Salt” Stimulant
Hawaii is being lauded for its effort to curb the use of so-called “Bath Salts,” or synthetic stimulants that are being marketed as legal substances.
On Tuesday the state was among a half dozen singled out for praise by White House Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske for efforts to ban retail sales of the designer drug that’s increasingly showing up at online sites, convenience stores and smoke shops.
Kerlikowske highlighted Hawaii, Florida, Michigan, Louisiana, Kentucky and North Dakota as states taking action against the drugs sold as bath salts or plant food under names such as “Ivory Wave,” “Red Dove” and “Hurricane Charlie.” It also is known as MDPV.
The products contain mephedrone and methylenedioxypyrovalerone and are said to give users a high similar to cocaine or methamphetamines when smoked, snorted or injected.
But they also can cause a number of medical problems, including chest pains, increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, agitation, hallucinations, extreme paranoia, and delusions.
The Office of National Drug Control Policy reported information from poison control centers showing the abuse of bath salts is growing. It said the American Association of Poison Control Centers reported there were 251 calls related to “bath salts” to poison control centers so far this year compared to 236 calls for all of 2010.
“I am deeply concerned about the distribution, sale, and use of synthetic stimulants – especially those that are marketed as legal substances,” said Kerlikowske. “Although we lack sufficient data to understand exactly how prevalent the use of these stimulants are, we know they pose a serious threat to the health and well-being of young people and anyone who may use them.”
The drugs have also caught the attention of New York U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, who noted bath salts have already been banned in the U.K., Australia, Canada and Israel and that he has asked New York’s health commissioner to take similar action.
Schumer also said he will be introducing legislation to add it to a list of controlled substances.
“These so-called bath salts contain ingredients that are nothing more than legally sanctioned narcotics, and they are being sold cheaply to all comers, with no questions asked, at store counters around the country,” said Schumer earlier this week.
North Dakota’s pharmacy board added the drugs to its list of controlled substances a year ago, while Florida and Louisiana took emergency action last month to ban the sale of MDPV products.
Two bills have been submitted to this year’s legislature to classify bath salts as a dangerous drug – HB1217 and SB1359.
The first hearing on the measures was heard Thursday morning by the House Public Safety and Military Affairs committee, which deferred action on the measure.
Shares of Maui Land & Pineapple Co. jumped nearly 20 percent in trading on the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday, rising jumping by $1.00 to $6.05 a share.
More than three times the normal volume of shares traded hands during trading.
The Maui-based company issued a statement saying the NYSE had contacted it in accordance with usual practice when unusual market activity occurs. But the company said its policy is not to comment on such market activity.
“Soul Surfer” Set For Release on April 8
The motion picture about a Kauai teen who lost her left arm during a shark attack is set for release on April 8.
The movie filmed in Hawaii traces the life of Bethany Hamilton, an up-and-coming surfer whose arm was amputated after the October 2003 attack on Kauai’s North Shore. The film stars AnnSophia Robb, Helen Hunt, and Dennis Quaid and marks the big screen debut of singer Carrie Underwood.
The movie is being billed as an inspirational piece. Variety reported the movie was originally set to be distributed to 300 screens across the country but now will be shown at 2,000 theaters.
Abercrombie Accepting Applications for Board of Education Seat
Gov. Neil Abercrombie is accepting applications now to fill one seat on the state Board of Education vacated by Lei Ahu Isa.
Applicants are encouraged to apply now through the Governor’s website, http://hawaii.gov/gov. The appointment will be Abercrombie’s first appointment to the BOE.
In November 2010, Hawai‘i voters approved a Constitutional Amendment that gives the Governor the authority to appoint members of the BOE.
The state Legislature is discussing legislation specifying the appointment process.
College of Tropical Agriculture, Department of Agriculture in Basil Pathogen Fight
The University of Hawaii’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources is partnering with the state Department of Agriculture to combat Basil Downy Mildew which was identified by basil growers last week at several farms in Waianae.
The partners said it is the first known incidence in Hawai‘i of the fast-spreading mildew, which has been found throughout Europe, Israel, New Zealand, Argentina, and some parts of Africa.
Downy Mildew is characterized by black, gray, clear, or brownish spores on the undersides of the leaves, followed by yellowing, then black or brown leaf discoloration and die-off. Affected basil is rendered unfit for sale or consumption, and some mainland basil growers have lost their entire crops.
Basil is a $6.8 million (2009 farm gate value) crop in Hawai‘i, sold throughout the state and exported to the mainland U.S. and Canada.
Bill to Rescind Ethanol Mandate To be Heard at Legislature
Sen. Mike Gabbard has entered a bill to repeal Hawaii’s 10 percent ethanol requirement for gasoline used in motor vehicles citing the mandate’s failure to drive production of the fuel locally.
The state began requiring ethanol be blended with gasoline in April 2006 as a way to lessen Hawaii’s dependence on foreign oil and provide a ready market for ethanol plants that could be built in the state.
But Gabbard’s bill, SB715, notes no plants have been built to date.
The Commerce and Consumer Protection and Energy and Environment committees will take testimony on the measure and other bills on Thursday at 2:45 p.m.
Development First in Waikiki to gain LEED Certification
A recently opened 34,500 square foot retail development in Waikiki has officially received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification, making it the first retail complex in Waikiki to be recognized by the US Green Building Council under the Shell and Core rating system.
280 Beach Walk retail complex developers are First Round Pacific LLC in partnership with the Honu Group, Inc. CBRE is the managing agent for the developers.
Tenants include the Hard Rock Cafe, which occupies a total of 12,697 square feet and 24 Karats Surf, a high street retailer from Japan.
Department of Health Revises Recall List Yet Again
The Hawaii Department of Health has revised its list of recalled products made by First Commercial Kitchen LLC because of new information it’s received.
The list is the fifth issued by the state as part of its action against First Commercial, a Waipahu-based company. It originally issued a list with more than 100 products to be recalled, but then reduced it last week and again twice this week.
The department said it is aware that records provided by the company may include inaccurate and outdated information “due to the company’s questionable record keeping practices.”
But it said it is providing businesses the opportunity to remove their names from the recall list if they can show sufficient documentation and evidence of product safety.
The revised recall list now includes:
Hot Sauces: Pineapple Salsa, Hot Hawaiian Savory Sauce, Phitias Hot Sauce,
Pineapple Pepper Salsa
Refrigerated Salsas: Maui Onion Sauce, Red, Red Hot, Red Very Very Hot
Shelf Stable Salsas: Red Very Very Hot
Barb’s Favorite Recipes, Barb’s Local Style Black Bean Sauce, Barb’s Kal-Bi Sauce
Cabais Capital Sweet Wasabi Sauce
Grand Café & Bakery: Dessert Topping, Sherry Vinaigrette
India Café: Curry Sauce for Meat, Sauce for Seafood, Tikka Masala (General Sauce)
Jen-e Tropical Creamy Garlic Dressing
Mom’s Recipe Sauce
Pacific Poultry: Huli-Huli Sauce
Soul de Cuba: Mango Salsa, Mojo Marinade
Sunset Sauces: Pacific Pesto – Mac Nut Style, Pacific Pesto – Asian Style
Table Boss Safari Sauce
Wing Coffee Company: Thick Soy Sauce, Sweet & Sour Sauce, Plum Sauce,
Hoisin Sauce, Black Bean Garlic