A ban on hallucinogenic chemicals known as “bath salts” and synthetic marijuana in Pennsylvania is headed to Gov. Tom Corbett’s desk. His spokesman, Kevin Harley, says the governor will sign the measure into law. The unanimous Senate vote Wednesday came days after the House approved the measure. The Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association had pushed for a statewide ban. Executive Director Richard Long says municipal and county laws weren’t enough.
The abuse of bath salts has “taken off dramatically. Just really in the last six to nine months, the numbers have grown exponentially, literally. And it’s hit certain parts of the state harder than others,” he said, adding eastern and central Pennsylvania have experienced more problems than the western part of the state. Long said a statewide law will help solve two big problems.
“First it was the synthetic marijuana. That was a problem.” he said. “Then the bath salts came in, and the conduct of people–the behavior of people taking the bath salts became an even bigger issue than the people using synthetic marijuana. It was more outrageous, more dangerous behavior with the people talking bath salt.” The law creates a penalty of up to five years in prison for possession of bath salts, with intent to sell. Users would face fines, and up to a year behind bars.