Will new law close synthetic drug loophole? - abc27 WHTM

Will new law close synthetic drug loophole?

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In 2011 Act 7 was passed, adding synthetic marijuana and "bath salts" to the state's controlled substance list. Manufacturers of the drugs have been slightly tweaking their compounds to skirt the statewide bans.

Earlier this month a new bill was passed that essentially expands the bans to any substances that have the core molecular structures common in bath salts and synthetic marijuana, rather than limiting the bans to particular strands.

"Anybody that uses these synthetic drugs is playing Russian roulette," said Ken Dickinson, Gaudenzia's Marketing Director.

It's known as Spice or K2, a synthetic marijuana that's sprayed onto leaves or potpourri and smoked. Experts say abuse of the drug is on the rise, especially with teens.

"They pack it in very colorful packaging that appeals to young people in particular, and they sell it over the counter in convenience stores, gas stations, truck stops, tobacco shops."

But K2 or Spice can have some serious risks. "We had an episode, not in Pennsylvania, in the Midwest, where five adolescents made their own K2 and smoked it, and they all had heart attacks," Dickinson added.

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