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Synthetics Now Illegal

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Bath Salts, K2, 2C-E, which is similar to LSD or Ecstasy, and salvia, which causes hallucinations and other synthetic drugs now are all banned in PA.

By Attorney Elisabeth K.H. Pasqualini, Criminal Law Division Leader, Harrisburg, PA

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett signed into law Senate Bill 1006, legislation that bans the possession, use and sale of synthetic designer drugs including the dangerous substance known as "bath salts.''

The General Assembly last week unanimously approved the measure to expand the state's list of controlled substances. The new law prohibits all chemical substances contained in bath salts, as well as synthetic marijuana and other synthetic drugs, including 2C-E, which is similar to LSD or Ecstasy, and salvia, which causes hallucinations.

Bath salts, which have nothing to do with baths or spas, are designer drugs with an effect on users comparable to cocaine or methamphetamine, according to a release from Corbett's office.

The substance had been legally sold in some tobacco shops and other specialty stores. Users sometimes experience agitation, paranoia, hallucinations and often commit violent acts.

Under the new law, conviction for a first offense for delivery or possession with the intent to deliver carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $15,000 fine. Conviction of simple possession of the substance carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Bath salts are already banned in more than 20 states, as well as in Israel, Canada, Australia and several countries in Europe. In Pennsylvania, several communities established local bans on the sale of synthetic drugs.

The impact of the new ban will likely have consequences not only for those possessing the substance, but for those facing charges relating to Driving Under the Influence.  As previously noted, some folks have been charged with DUI for cases involving use of these substances, but the substances were not illegal at the time.  This creates a huge problem for District Attorneys who are attempting to prosecute based upon being under the influence of an "illegal" drug or narcotic. 

If you have questions or are facing charges relating to possession or DUI, please contact the experienced firm at Shaffer & Engle Law Offices, LLC  toll free or email us today.

1 Comment

Does this mean that synthetics are banned across the board, or just the chemicals that were currently used in those products?

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