Pennsylvania lawmakers are hoping to pass a ban on synthetic drugs known as “bath salts” within the next two months.
A bill banning the paranoia-inducing chemicals passed the House on a unanimous vote earlier this year, and a similar measure could clear a Senate committee next week.
Sponsor Elder Vogel, an Allegheny County Republican, said a statewide ban is critical, even though many municipalities have already made the substances illegal.
“Because a lot of police departments are asking for it. The DAs are asking for it. I mean, the state district attorneys association is very supportive of the issue,” Vogel said. “It’s a real issue in the Southeast, but it’s also becoming more of an issue in the West and Southwest here.”
Erik Arneson, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, said it’s not clear whether the Senate will approve the House bill, or pass its own measure.
“That’s a very common negotiation that we have with House leadership,” he explained. “That hasn’t been set yet. But, one way or the other, we are optimistic we can get a bill to the governor’s desk on that before the budget is done, or around the same time the budget is done in June.”
The latest high-profile warning sign of bath salts’ danger comes from West Virginia. A man there was arrested this week after killing a neighbor’s goat while wearing high heels and women’s underwear. He told authorities he had been high on bath salts for days when he was arrested.