Bryan Cohen Apr. 4, 2013, 6:39pm

HELENA, Mont. (Legal Newsline) - Montana Attorney General Tim Fox announced Tuesday that Gov. Steve Bullock signed a law developed by Fox to criminalize designer drugs in Montana.

Fox's bill criminalizes the possession, manufacturing, sale and distribution of designer drugs labeled as spice or bath salts in the state. Bullock signed the bill into law on Tuesday afternoon.

"This new legislation will give Montana's law enforcement officers the ability to address the proliferation of designer drugs like bath salts and spice and help us keep our state's families safe," Fox said.

Prior to the new law, drugs labeled as bath salts or spice that mimic illegal, dangerous drugs were not designated as unlawful. When ingested, bath salts can cause life-threatening harm to the user.

Rep. Tom Berry (R-45th) co-sponsored House Bill 140 by Fox's request. The bill classifies designer drugs as illegal under state law. The bill passed the legislature with strong bi-partisan support.

"I want to thank Governor Bullock for his commitment to keeping dangerous drugs out of Montana, Representative Tom Berry for carrying this important legislation on behalf of our office, our State Crime Lab personnel for their assistance in developing the bill, and the Montana Legislature for its overwhelming support of the bill," Fox said.

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