Legislators Supports Crackdown on Synthetic Drugs

Synthetic cocaine and synthetic marijuana  – marketed as concentrated ‘bath salts’  or ‘herbal incense’ – would be added to the list of banned substances under legislation that passed the House today, according to Reps. Mario M. Scavello (R-Monroe), Mike Peifer and Rosemary M. Brown. 

“These substances mimic illegal drugs, but are not covered by current drug laws,” said Scavello.  “The bill I co-sponsored would criminalize the sale and possession of these so-called bath-salts and synthetic marijuana.  Some smoke shop and hemp store owners have turned into de facto drug dealers when they started selling chemicals that have similar properties to marijuana and cocaine, even though these are not currently listed as illegal in state law.” 

House Bill 365 amends the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act to expand the list of banned substances to included salvia divinorum, salvinorin A, divinorin A, synthetic marijuana and synthetic cocaine/heroin as Schedule I controlled substances, which can cause a range of symptoms similar to cocaine or marijuana. 

“These chemicals have no place in any type of store in Pennsylvania,” said Peifer.  “These drugs are dangerous chemicals and will soon be illegal throughout Pennsylvania.” 

The chemical compounds in these ‘bath salts’ are what is being banned because they have similar effects as cocaine, but have nothing to do with legitimate bath products.  Synthetic cannabinoids are also banned by the legislation. 

“I fully support House Bill 365,” said Brown.  “We should not have substances with this magnitude for abuse on the shelves and readily available to the public.  These are dangerous substances with the potential for serious consequences” 

The bill passed unanimously and now goes to the state Senate for consideration. 

State Representative Mario M. Scavello
176th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

State Representative Michael Peifer
139th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

State Representative Rosemary M. Brown
189th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact: Todd Abele

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