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Probation Department Finds Bath Salts Loophole

For many months, the problems associated with legal purchases of synthetic marijuana products and bath salt products have touched the communities of Bradford County, just as they have touched communities across the nation. Hardly an evening goes by without the local TV news airing a story dedicated to the problems associated with bath salts. Many municipalities are taking action to make the sale and possession of bath salts illegal. The Common-wealth of Pennsylvania will soon have a law banning both synthetic marijuana and bath salts. The Bradford County Probation and Parole Department has taken a proactive position against the use of synthetic marijuana and bath salts. Many years ago, due to problems with adults and juveniles on probation and parole abusing inhalants to obtain a high, the probation department amended the rules and conditions of supervision to include the following: “I will abstain from the unlawful possession, use or sale of narcotics, controlled substances, other dangerous drugs, inhalants and any other mood-altering chemicals that are not prescribed for me by a physician.” This condition makes the use of synthetic marijuana and bath salts a violation of probation and parole. The probation department has made numerous arrests of probation and parole offenders possessing and/or testing positive for the presence of synthetic marijuana and bath salts. Due to the dangerous side effects of the use of these substances, which include agitation, muscle spasms, kidney failure, seizure, hallucinations, aggression, severe paranoia and risk of renal failure, the probation department will continue to aggressively search and test for the possession and use of these substances. Retailers in Bradford County continuing to sell synthetic marijuana products need to realize that effective March 1, 2011, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officially included five synthetic cannabinoids in the Controlled Substance Act as Schedule 1 drugs, due to the necessity to avoid imminent hazard to the public safety. Continuing to distribute, sell, possess and use these synthetic marijuana products places a person, or retail outlet, under the full effect of the criminal penalties associated with violating the federal Controlled Substance Act. The Bradford County Probation Department will notify DEA of all information obtained within the county of any person, or retail outlet, continuing to distribute and sell synthetic marijuana products. The Bradford County Probation and Parole Department is dedicated to making the community a safe place for all residents. The use and abuse of synthetic marijuana and bath salts causes a serious risk to the community in general, as well as emergency responders and law enforcement officers who encounter individuals under the influence of these substances. The probation department will continue its efforts to eradicate the use of these products.

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