A new law has been signed that will quicken the process of banning new substances used to make designer drugs, and Representative Matt Baker (R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter) worked on the legislation for years prior to the signing of the law.
New substances that are used to manufacture designer drugs can now be added to the list of banned drugs in Pennsylvania. Law enforcement officers can then arrest and prosecute people that use drugs containing the banned substances. Baker issued the following statement after the law was signed,”‘Today’s criminals are smart and savvy and have learned how to use different chemicals to create new drug combinations to try and avoid prosecution… My legislation combats those efforts by allowing the use of these substances and combination chemicals to be quickly added to a banned list – a process that use to take a fair amount of time to accomplish. Law enforcement will now be able to keep up with the quickly changing illegal drug market and prosecute those who possess these substances with the intent to manufacture illegal drugs.”
The Pennsylvania Department of Health Secretary will now be permitted to ban substances on a temporary basis so that they can go through a full regulatory review. Presently, the General Assembly must act on banning substances under the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act. Usually, that process is lengthy.
Baker went on to say the following, “This is one more step forward in our fight against the illegal drug market… Drug abuse and misuse has become an epidemic and I have been a leader and avid supporter of new laws to help combat this trending crime. Next to prescription drug abuse, these new designer drugs are a major plague on our society with individuals exposing themselves to unknown chemicals and toxins in order to get a ‘high.’ Giving law enforcement the tools they need to thwart illegal drug manufacturers can help save lives.”
Under the new law, Pennsylvania’s schedule of controlled substances will be modified to match federal controlled substance laws. The following departments support the new law: the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association, the Pennsylvania Fraternal Order of Police, the state Office of Attorney General, the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association, the Pennsylvania State Police Troopers Association, and the Pennsylvania State Police.