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Pickett Supports Bill to Prohibit Dangerous Chemicals in Certain Bath Salts

To help discourage the prevalence of new chemical compounds that are being used to get high by drug users, Rep. Tina Pickett (R-Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna) has voted in favor of legislation that seeks to ban the chemicals in products sold in Pennsylvania. 

“Within the past couple of months, instances of people using fake cocaine and substances sold as concentrated bath salts have been reported to tragic results,” Pickett said. “Not only are people becoming addicted to these substances, but the hallucinogenic effects are causing individuals to do dangerous things. Some people have even died due to taking these drugs.” 

House Bill 365, which passed the House on Monday, 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. 

“It is sad that many illegal drug users are now turning to legal substances with dangerous chemical compounds and using them to achieve their highs,” Pickett said. “This is just another instance of our laws needing to be on top of the latest trends drug users are turning to.” 

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 known on the street as “fake cocaine” and “fake heroine.”   

“Please be assured that the bath salts targeted by this bill are not those found in typical retail locations like department stores or specialty bath shops,” Pickett said. “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 now moves to the state Senate for consideration. 

State Representative Tina Pickett
110th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact:  Jennifer Keaton

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