Pubdate: Tue, 24 May 2011
Source: Times-Tribune, The (Scranton PA)
Copyright: 2011
Author: Robert Swift, Harrisburg Bureau Chief


HARRISBURG - House lawmakers are adding a synthetic drug that caught
the attention of law enforcement officials just weeks ago to a bill
expanding the list of controlled substances.

The drug 2C-E is a hallucinogenic that mimics LSD and ecstasy and is
considered responsible for the death of a user recently in Minnesota.

The Judiciary Committee Tuesday approved an amendment adding 2C-E to
Senate-approved legislation banning the sale of "bath salts" that is
getting priority attention before the legislative summer recess.

The move came upon the recommendation of the Pennsylvania District
Attorneys Association which only recently learned about the threat
from using 2C-E. The DA's warning illustrates how quickly new
synthetic drugs can appear as producers experiment with different
chemical compounds.

Both the House and Senate have passed separate bills this spring
banning the sale of bath salts, synthetic marijuana and salvia
divinorum, a hallucinogenic herb mixture. The move for a statewide ban
has gathered momentum with police reports of bizarre and violent
behavior by synthetic drug users and action by counties and
municipalities in Northeast Pennsylvania to impose local injunctions
against the sale of these drugs.

Both the Senate and House have to agree on a common bill for it to
reach Gov. Tom Corbett for signing. If the committee's 2C-E amendment
remains in the bill after the final House vote, the Senate will have
to vote again on the amended version.

While the ban legislation moves to enactment, judiciary chairman
Ronald Marsico, R-105, Harrisburg, called on business owners to
voluntarily stop selling synthetic drugs.

"They have a moral responsibility to pull these drugs off the
shelves," he added.

Rep. Tarah Toohil, R-116, Butler Twp., a panel member, said she has
personally asked local store owners to keep these products out of
their establishments. 
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MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.