Synthetic drug ban update takes effect

Written by Matt Paul, Reporter/Producer | Jul 26, 2013 3:36 AM
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(Harrisburg) -- A newly updated synthetic drug ban in Pennsylvania is allowing law enforcement to keep pace with small changes to the drugs' formulas. Cumberland County District Attorney David Freed is grateful for state lawmakers' unanimous support.

"It was again a quick reaction to the synthetics that are out there," Freed says. "I don't think it's the solution to everything that we're dealing with, but it's certainly a help to us. It expands our ability to keep people safe."

Freed views synthetic drugs, like bath salts, as gateway drugs and stresses they're just as dangerous to the users as other illicit narcotics.

State Police helped to craft the new statute, which incorporates language from the Federal Controlled Substances Act, so synthetic drug manufacturers cannot skirt the law by making minor changes to the compounds.

The original law was enacted in 2011, soon after bath salts and synthetic marijuana started spreading statewide. The drugs cause users to hallucinate and have dangerous psychotic episodes.

The issue of synthetic drugs was discussed on witf's SmartTalk. You can listen to the full interview online.

Published in Cumberland County, News

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