Cannibalism. Real-life zombie attacks. And bath salts.
Last year, Washington banned bath-salts. Not the suds you get your sister-in-law for Christmas, but the cleverly disguised drug. The results of the drug's high are varied, from an addictive high to dangerous mind-altering substance that can take the right and wrong out of murder.
David Stewart led police on a high speed chase on April 5, 2011. He and his girlfriend, Kristy Samples, were in the car, and when the chase came to an end, Stewart shot Samples and then himself. Their 5-year-old son had been found dead in their house, suffocated by a plastic bag. Police found packets of the bath salt drug in the couple's car and home.
It was a tragedy that influenced an emergency ban on bath salts in Washington state. The State Board of Pharmacy issued the ban, targeting products like Ivory-Wave, Red Dove and Zoom. They said the products contain chemicals that, when inhaled, snorted, or smoked, give the same high as illegal drugs. The ban classified them as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, a classification that makes the sale, delivery, or possession of bath salts illegal.
Over a year later, the terrible influence of bath salts are taking center stage again - this time in Florida. In Miami, a man suspected of being on bath salts attacked a homeless man. Rudy Eugene was literally eating the face of the homeless man when officers arrived at the scene, and when he didn't relent, an officer shot and killed him. With only a few minor hits on his record, including marijuana possession - similar story surfaced in Louisiana, where police said that a man bit off a "chunk" of an acquaintance's face. Authorities there also believe bath salts were the influence in the cannibalistic attack.
It seems that until now, despite the tragic events in Washington, the mind-altering drug hadn't grabbed the attention of the mainstream media, until it started sounding like the plot of a zombie movie.
Then, this start popping up on the Internet:
Photos like this with captions that only read "Bath Salts" started taking over Facebook.
Now, a serious drug is just a big, frightening joke.
Steven Colbert remembered that this event, a (bath salt induced) zombie apocalypse had already been foreseen by the Center for Disease Control. So we should already know how to prepare.
While some people are finding humor in man-eating-man action - others may be trying to profit. Like Eugene's girlfriend, who recently hired Gloria Allred to be her attorney. Ron & Don, who have been following the "zombie" stories, think that she might have made the move to get some money out of a tell-all interview on television.
The team also did some research and found out that CNN talked to a "former bath salt addict," who described his time on the drug as full of fear, darkness and impending doom. At one point, he thought he had been possessed by Jason from the "Friday the 13th" film.
Are people only doing this to chase that biggest euphoric adrenaline high? "What are they watching?" asked Ron. "When you talk about heroin, meth, or bath salts, what are these people looking at?"
Questions, not answers, for those that haven't experienced it; these people don't understand what would cause someone to ingest something that could potentially make them so crazy, they would bite into another human being.
While the memes will likely continue until the next cat-copter takes over the news, legislators are hoping to put a real end to the easy access of bath salts.
Florida, while full of odd news, hasn't put the kibosh on the sale of bath salts yet. Some regulations exist - but there are plenty of loopholes that have allowed the creative chemists who made the drug to constantly "tweak" the molecular structure, allowing them to skirt existing rules.
Until those loopholes are closed, public safety is still at risk, just as it would be if the real zombie apocalypse were upon us.