Pennsylvania Bans Bath Salts and Synthetic Marijuana

The Pennsylvania State Senate has moved to ban bath salts and synthetic marijuana.  The bill now awaits Gov. Corbett’s signature to be passed into law.  Under the proposed bill, bath salts and synthetic drugs like Spice and K2 will be banned and classified as “Schedule 1” drugs.

Penalties for Bath Salts and Synthetic Marijuana

PA DUI Attorney Discusses the Ban on Bath Salts
PA DUI Attorney Discusses the Ban on Bath Salts

Unless the Commonwealth decides to attach specific penalties to these substances, the penalties for bath salts and synthetic marijuana are:

  1. Possession with the Intent to Distribute- an ungraded felony with a maximum sentence of up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000
  2. Simple Possession- Up to one year in prison and up to $2500 in fines for a first offense. If it is a subsequent offense then it is up to 3 years in prison with up to $25,000 in fines
  3. DUI-Drugs- Up to six months in prison, 12 month license suspension and $5,000 in fines for a first offense (see PA DUI Penalties for more details)

Specifically banned under this proposed legislation includes:

Salvia Divinorum; Salvinorin A; Divinorin A; 3,4-Methylenedioxymethcathinone (Methylone); 3,4-Methyenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV); 4-Methylmethcathinone; CP 47,497 and homologues, 2-[(1R,3S)-3-hydroxycyclohexyl]-5-(2-methyloctan-2-yl)phenol); HU-210, [(6aR,10aR)-9-(hydroxymethyl)-6,6-dimethyl-3-(2-methyloctan-2-yl)-6a,7,10, 10a-tetrahydrobenzo[c] chromen-1-ol)]; HU-211, (dexanabinol, (6aS,10aS)-9-(hydroxymethyl)-6,6-dimethyl-3-(2-methyloctan-2-yl)-6a,7,10,10a-tetrahydrobenzo[c]chromen-1-ol); JWH-018, 1-Pentyl-3-(1-naphthoyl)indole; JWH-019, 1-Hexyl-3-(1-naphthoyl)indole; JWH-073, 1-Butyl-3-(1-naphthoyl)indole; JWH-200, (1-(2-morpholin-4-ylethyl)indol-3-yl)-naphthalen-1-ylmethanone; JWH-250, 1-pentyl-3-(2-methoxyphenylacetyl)indole; Psychedelic phenethylamines; 2-(2,5-Dimethoxy-4-ethylphenyl)ethanamine (2C-E); 2-(2,5-Dimethoxy-4-methylphenyl)ethanamine (2C-D); 2-(4-Chloro-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)ethanamine (2C-C); 2-(4-Iodo-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)ethanamine (2C-I); 2-[4-(Ethylthio)-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl]ethanamine (2C-T-2); 2-[4-(Isopropylthio)-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl]ethanamine (2C-T-4); 2-(2,5-Dimethoxyphenyl)ethanamine (2C-H); 2-(2,5-Dimethoxy-4-nitro-phenyl)ethanamine (2C-N); 2-(2,5-Dimethoxy-4-(n)-propylphenyl)ethanamine (2C-P) (Mephedrone); 4-Methoxymethcathinone; 4-Fluoromethcathinone; and, 3-Fluoromethcathinone.

However, banning a substance is one thing, enforcing that ban is another. In reality, do the police have the experience and training to be able to be able to make difference on the street? Do the police crime labs have the correct procedures in place to be able to properly identify these substance? If not (and in my experience they don’t) are we going to see numerous innocent people being charged under these harsh penalties?

Unfortunately, once you examine the problems with the police and the horrible situation at these crime labs you will soon realize how dangerous these harsh laws are for innocent law abiding citizens.

If you are charged with a crime related to bath salts or synthetic marijuana, please call 1-866-MCSHANE to speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

Justin McShane

PA DUI attorney Justin J. McShane is the President/CEO of The McShane Firm, LLC - Pennsylvania's top criminal law and DUI law firm. He is the highest rated DUI attorney in PA as rated by Justin McShane is a double Board certified attorney. He is the first and so far the only Pennsylvania attorney to achieve American Bar Association recognized board certification in DUI defense from the National College for DUI Defense, Inc. He is also a Board Certified Criminal Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, a Pennsylvania Supreme Court Approved Agency.

6 responses to “Pennsylvania Bans Bath Salts and Synthetic Marijuana”

  • I don’t understand how they can lump them all together under the same penalties? Not to mention that there are a ton of chemicals listed … will they have a field test kit to test for any and all of those (or at least until they know it is one of them)? I don’t think more laws are the answer … but I haven’t been affected by the reported behavior. We will se I guess… good article!

    • I wanted to clarify my statement “but I haven’t been affected by the reported behavior.” Meaning I do not know anyone close enough that has tried these things. Just so I am clear. I realized it made me sound like I was doing them and just not freaking out… lol.

      • The largest issue is the proof. Just because something is packaged and the package says that it is something does not make it so. It is legally insufficient as a matter of law to allow a conviction based upon that level of evidence. They can ban all they want, but the science is not there yet. More resources, time and effort is needed.

        • Agreed. Our government amazes me at how long their arm actually is. If they can’t outright take things (rights) from the people … they will just pass a law to do so. From my view our personal freedoms are slowly dying. I can’t think of one thing I do without the government being right there to either take my money or have a say in what I want to do. I can’t build, eat, work, drive, and so on without them right behind me looking over my shoulder. Government is a necessary evil, but it doesn’t have to be all evil. I mean banning light bulbs and dish washer soap in some states? What is next .. no more riding bikes unless they are stationary? Let us ban steps because people fall down them sometimes and we can’t have that now. Before long we will all be living in bubbles because our lawmakers passed another law to “protect” us. This is getting sick. Thanks for sticking up for the little guys … I will surely remember you if a time ever comes and I need defense.

  • Mary Benjamin says:

    How long will it take for PA and the rest of the country to completely ban ALL forms of this stuff? I know first hand that there are serious health consequences that I have seen and I’m sure there are others we haven’t yet seen. We rushed my son [19 yrs old] to the ER due to a GI bleed. This was a direct result of him smoking this supposedly legal stuff labelled “not for human consumption.” Off and on he had been complaining of stomach pain before this. I know this is not an isolated incident. A friend of his had similar stomach problems and was admitted to the hospital later on for bleeding in the urine, possible kidney failure. That kid was under 18 yrs old.

    Then there is the fact that this stuff is addicting. Again, I know this first hand and I am disgusted at its availability. We have some local townships [we live in PA] that have banned the sale of it but you can go to an adjacent township or cross up into NY and buy it there. Of course it is readily available on the internet.

    I would like to see ALL forms of this banned.

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