DAs Praise PA House in Fight Against Bath Salts and Synthetic Marijuana

May 8, 2013

Harrisburg, PA – Synthetic drugs may be illegal in Pennsylvania, but it only takes minor tweaks of the chemical formulations to turn the illegal substances into legal ones. That doesn’t mean they are less dangerous.

Yesterday the Pennsylvania House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill that will help law enforcement keep up with the substances chemists use to manufacture dangerous drugs that mimic LSD, methamphetamine and can cause hallucinations and psychotic episodes.

“Bath salts and synthetic marijuana are dangerous and the people who try to reformulate them to skirt the law need to be stopped,” said Adams County District Attorney Shawn Wagner who is also the president of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association (PDAA).

“District attorneys have seen firsthand the devastating effects that synthetic drugs have had on our communities, and we appreciate the House’s leadership in helping us continue the fight against them.”

H.B. 1217, sponsored by Rep. Jerry Stern (R-Blair), updates the list of controlled substances to help law enforcement keep up with new synthetic compounds used by illicit manufactures in reformulating synthetic marijuana and bath salts. Law enforcement around the state has reported dangerous and bizarre behaviors by people high on synthetic drugs’ highly potent substances.

The bill is a follow up measure to Act 7 of 2011, which banned chemical compounds used at that time to formulate synthetic drugs. The legislation is considered a priority by PDAA because of the public safety and public health problem they have caused.

“This bill will help save lives,” said Wagner. “We look forward to working with the Senate to move it through their legislative process and bring it to the floor for a vote soon.”