HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – By Miles Snyder
Legislation to ban several powerful and increasingly popular hallucinogenic drugs is headed to Gov. Tom Corbett after a final and unanimous vote Wednesday in the state Senate.
Senate Bill 1006 would add the cocaine known as “bath salts” to the state’s controlled substance list. It would also prohibit the possession and sale of synthetic marijuana, salvia divinorum, and the psychedelic drug 2C.
The bill additionally would outlaw any similar chemical compounds from being used to create the same effects, so that the ingredients or manufacturing process cannot be altered slightly to bypass the law.Once signed by the governor, the legislation will take effect within 60 days.
Under the state’s controlled substance act, a first offense for delivery or possession with the intent to deliver would result in five years in prison and a $15,000 fine. Simple possession would be a misdemeanor and a $5,000 fine and a maximum of one year in prison.
On repeat violations, the maximum fine and penalty would double.
The drugs currently are available over the Internet or from local shops, but mimic the effects of marijuana, cocaine and heroin.
Police locally and nationally have reported a rapidly growing number of illnesses and violent incidents attributed to their use. Several municipalities across Pennsylvania have already enacted their own bans on the substances.