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Governor Signs Bill Banning Synthetic Bath Salts

In response to a recent alarming trend among drug users, Gov. Tom Corbett this week signed legislation to reform Pennsylvania’s Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act to ban bath salts and other chemical compounds, Rep. Tarah Toohil (R-Luzerne) said today.    

Toohil noted these are not the bath salts consumers can purchase in the grocery store or bath shops but a specially concentrated compound that is sold in specialty shops.  When smoked, snorted or injected into the body, these banned chemicals produce a high similar to that experienced when using cocaine. The substance can cause higher blood pressure, increased heart rate, psychosis and a tendency to engage in violent behavior, and even death. 

“Across the Commonwealth, we have seen examples of people misusing bath salts and committing violent crimes, suffering very serious health effects and even dying as a result,” Toohil said.  “The compounds in bath salts have already been banned in Europe, as well as several states throughout the country.  I am glad Pennsylvania has joined them.” 

Toohil said the new law expands the classes of drugs covered to include synthetic marijuana and Salvia Divinorum, in addition to Salvinorin A, Divinorin A, and psychedelic phenethylamines (referred to as C2).  The House of Representatives this week unanimously passed House Bill 365, which will add a chemical compound referred to by users as “fake cocaine” and commonly found in certain bath salts to the state’s controlled substance list.   

Toohil added that she began urging local businesses to remove bath salts from their shelves voluntarily months ago. 

“I have visited local retailers to ask them to remove bath salts from their shelves.” Toohil said.  “Now that they are illegal, those businesses must stop selling them or face serious criminal repercussions.” 

The new law will take effect in 60 days. 

State Representative Tarah Toohil
116th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact:  Rep. Toohil’s Office 

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