Friday, May 6, 2011

"Bath Salts" Ban Could Happen By End of June

A bill outlawing 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.

Republican Senator Elder Vogel of Beaver County 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,” he 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, where a man was arrested this week for 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 they arrested him on animal cruelty charges.

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