Congress Approves Ban on 2 of 17 Bath Salts

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Police officials hope that a complete ban of the substance will make it easier to prosecute criminals who make, buy, and sell the chemicals.

"There are no questions about the drug if it's a controlled substance. We just know it's illegal and can get to work. Already, lots of time is wasted just waiting for lab results to come back," said a DEA official.

DEA officials believe that the other 15 substances were overlooked because legislators like Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, do not view it as an immediate public threat.

"Bath salts were in the House bill. And they're not in this one. You'd have to ask Sen. Leahy why that happened," said a staffer for a House Republican.

Although Leahy was not available to respond, a staffer defended Leahy’s decision.

"Leahy's focus was to get done what the Senate started. The House bill was out there, but not in a formal way," the committee staffer said. "Sen. Leahy has been clear that scheduling controlled substances is not something to be taken lightly."

However, the approved bill did give the DEA authority to declare drugs as illegal by placing them on a two-year “emergency schedule.” Currently, the agency can declare drugs on a one year “emergency schedule.”

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