John Evans Reports…04-22-11

Representative John Evans

Bill to Prohibit Dangerous Chemicals in Certain Bath Salts
By Rep. John Evans (R-Erie/Crawford)

To help discourage the prevalence of new chemical compounds that are being used to get high by drug users, the House has passed legislation to ban the chemicals in products sold in Pennsylvania.

Within the past few months, instances of people using fake cocaine and substances sold as concentrated bath salts have been reported to tragic results. People are snorting or smoking the salts and are becoming addicted to these substances. This is causing individuals to do dangerous things, and in some parts of the state, people have overdosed and died.

House Bill 365, which passed the House on April 4, seeks to ban salvia divinorum, certain chemicals in bath salts and synthetic marijuana by adding these to the state’s controlled substances list. When smoked, snorted or injected into the body, the chemicals produce a high similar to that experienced when using cocaine.

Specifically, the legislation bans salvia divinorum, a psychoactive drug that can produce hallucinations. In addition, certain concentrated “bath salts” sold primarily in tobacco shops, hemp stores and other non-traditional locations contain chemicals that are known on the street as “fake cocaine” and “fake heroine.”

The bath salts targeted by this bill are not those found in typical retail locations like department stores or specialty bath shops. Most common bath salts sold in retail stores do not contain the dangerous chemicals. As a result, most users of ordinary bath salts would not be affected if the new legislation is signed into law.

The chemical compound at issue in the bath salts is 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), which has been banned in the United Kingdom. In addition to Pennsylvania, other states are considering banning the sale of substances containing the chemical and adding it to the state’s controlled substance list. Louisiana and Florida have already banned it.

The legislation is now with the state Senate for consideration.

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John Evans Reports is a weekly editorial from Rep. John Evans, 5th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and published by EdinboroOnline.com in an effort to keep the citizens of the area informed on matters of importance to them. Rep. Evans can be reached for further comment or input at his Edinboro Pa office 814-734-2793, Girard, Pa office 814-774-2892, or his Linesville, PA office 814-683-5550. www.repevans.com

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