BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts lawmakers will hold a public hearing on a legislation banning the sale of synthetic recreational drugs known as “bath salts” that mimic pot, cocaine and other substances.

These drugs can cause paranoia and hallucinations and have been linked with deaths and hundreds of calls to poison centers nationwide. Some states already have implemented their own bans. The nation’s largest doctors’ group supports national legislation banning the substances.

An Associated Press analysis shows that the substances are increasingly causing users to fall seriously ill, with some suffering seizures and hallucinations.

The synthetic drugs are available in many head shops for as little as $10. They are often packaged as incense or bath salts.

The Massachusetts Joint Committee on the Judiciary has scheduled a public hearing for Thursday.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.


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