AUGUSTA — Legislation to increase penalties for a drug that’s become a major concern to police in Maine has won a solid vote of support in committee, setting the stage for passage by the full Legislature.

House and Senate votes are expected at today’s special session on Gov. Paul LePage’s bill, LD 1589, targeting so-called bath salts, also known as monkey dust and other street names.

The unregulated psychoactive drug provides highs similar to those from amphetamines, Ecstasy and cocaine, and causes bizarre and sometimes violent behavior in users. The drug is being imported from other countries, largely through the Internet.

The bill receiving support Monday by the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee would increase penalties for possession and trafficking. Aggravated trafficking, for example, could bring a 25-year maximum jail penalty.