Pubdate: Tue, 05 Jul 2011 Source: Tribune-Democrat, The (Johnstown, PA) Copyright: 2011 The Tribune-Democrat Contact: http://www.tribune-democrat.com/editorials/local_story_279131011.html Website: http://www.tribune-democrat.com/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/4063 TAKE IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL Bath Salts Should Be Banned Nationwide Synthetic drugs such as "bath salts" are now illegal in Pennsylvania. We urge the federal government to consider a national law similar to the one passed by our Legislature and signed into law recently by Gov. Tom Corbett. The new state law also prohibits synthetic marijuana. Bath salts became a popular drug because of their low price. The materials can be purchased for as little as $10 in some stores and online, The Associated Press reported. Bath salts reportedly cause a "high" that can lead to violent behavior toward others or the user. Fox News said a former user in Mississippi who is now a proponent for making bath salts illegal cut his face severely with a razor while on the drug. When signing the law, Corbett said there have been cases in Pennsylvania where individuals under the influence of bath salts had been involved in violent crimes and even standoffs with police. "This bill, quite literally, will save lives," Dauphin County District Attorney Edward Marsico, president of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association, told the AP. Although the new Pennsylvania law won't take affect until late August, Corbett urged retailers to stop selling materials connected with the relatively new synthetic drug craze. "I am asking merchants who sell these chemicals today to stop voluntarily, before more people are hurt," he said. The American Medical Association, the nation's largest doctors' group, supports national legislation to ban bath salts and other synthetic drugs. The AMA said the drugs cause hallucinations and have been connected with deaths and hundreds of calls to poison centers. Pennsylvania joins a list of more than 20 states that have banned bath salts by law or regulation, the AP reported. Here in our state, five counties -- Centre, Columbia, Schuylkill, Luzerne and Lackawanna -- and the city of Lock Haven have approved local bans. It's time for action on the federal level. - --- MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.