Until 2011, smoke shops could be found throughout Pennsylvania, which legally sold synthetic marijuana and 'bath salts.' These substances attempt to mimic the effects of marijuana, cocaine, LSD and methamphetamines. They have now been added to the list of controlled substances. If caught with synthetic marijuana or 'bath salts' one can face serious drug charges.
The chemists that manufacture these drugs have since spent a great deal of time changing the compounds found in the drugs, in an effort to continue legally selling their products. The ban on these products has been a result of the serious side effects caused by their use. Seizures, paranoia, suicidal thoughts, panic attacks and violence have resulted from the use of synthetic marijuana and 'bath salts.'
Due to chemists changing of the compounds in order to avoid the ban on their products, new legislation has been passed to remedy the problem. Bill 1217 has been passed which bans any substances that have the core molecular structure common to synthetic marijuana and 'bath salts.' Although the new law took effect immediately there are still some who continue to sell the substances illegally. Those that sell the substances can face criminal drug charges including drug possession.
Due to the now criminal nature of buying and selling these products, it is important consumers be informed regarding the new law. Stiffer penalties could result from the purchase, possession or sale of these drugs. Pennsylvania residents need to be aware of the dangers of these drugs as well as the potential criminal consequences related with them. Drug charges are serious business, but an accusation of criminal conduct is a far cry from securing a conviction. Those facing these circumstances will need to carefully review each element of the crimes charged in order to protect their legal rights while fighting to preserve their freedom.
Source: phillyburbs.com, "Pennsylvania law seeks to close loophole for synthetic marijuana," Natasha Lindstrom, July 3, 2013