A statewide ban of synthetic drugs called “bath salts” is one step from becoming law in Pennsylvania.
The House unanimously approved a Senate bill making the hallucinogenic chemicals illegal Monday afternoon, on a 201-0 vote.
During debate, Republican Ron Marsico explained the penalties the measure would impose. “Their first offense for possession with intent to deliver, or delivery, will result in five years in prison and a $15,000 fine,” he explained. “Simple possession of these substances will be a misdemeanor, and give them a maximum fine of $5,000 and one year in prison.” Penalties would double on a second offense. “As you can see, those who have no regard for those well-being of others, of our citizens, and those who are making huge profits off our citizens, will finally be held accountable, with enactment of this legislation,” said Marisco.
Several counties and municipalities have already enacted local bans. The measure would also criminalize synthetic marijuana, which is sold in some stores as incense.
Because the House changed its language, the measure now goes back to the Senate. But a Senate Republican spokesman says the chamber will likely concur, meaning the bill will head to Governor Corbett’s desk soon.