LETTER: Rep. M. J. Smiley applauds citizen's involvement

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

On Tuesday, Jan. 4, I received a call from Patricia Hima. Ms. Hima told me about the detrimental effects "Bath Salts" were having on a family member who was hospitalized in a psychotic state as a result of this substance. She requested something be done to get this deadly chemical off the store shelves and stop the sale immediately. Just the day before, I had read an article in The Advocate about this chemical and the devastating effect it is having on families in Louisiana and throughout our nation. The fake bath salts are considered the possible causes of three deaths and numerous hospitalizations in our state.

After talking to Ms. Hima, I contacted Stephen Waguespack, Executive Counsel to Governor Bobby Jindal, and asked if the Governor could stop the sale of this substance through an executive order.  Mr. Waguespack assured me he would research the matter and bring it to the Governor's attention.

Later that day, I received a call from Mr. Waguespack informing me that Governor Jindal would issue an executive order, the following day to stop the sale of this deadly substance known as Bath Salts and would classify it as an illegal narcotic. The Governor issued the order, as promised. Law enforcement agencies statewide began immediately removing this deadly substance from stores, an action that will surely save many lives.

I would like to thank Governor Jindal and Mr. Waguespack for their quick response in resolving this serious situation. I also want to thank and commend Ms. Patricia Hima for bringing this matter to my attention and helping to outlaw these deadly chemicals.

Mert Smiley

State Rep., District 88