Blanket law makes all synthetic drugs illegal in Pennsylvania

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A new Pennsylvania law allows police to take action on all cases regarding synthetic drugs no matter what is in the substance.

And not even a month after it was enacted, this law is already having a significant impact.

It’s because of this law that went into effect on July 3rd that police busted clerks and owners of 4 convenience stores in Harrisburg for selling synthetic marijuana.

Police are no longer playing catch up when it comes to dealing with synthetic drugs.

“It’s one that’s broad enough that can capture future changes,” says Dauphin County First Assistant District Attorney, Fran Chardo.

Corporal Gabriel Olivera was unable to show his face on camera due to the nature of his job but says this new synthetic drug law is considered a “blanket law” which nixes the problem police have dealt with for years.

“They change the chemical compound so frequently that the laws never keep up with it and that was the biggest problem with the law,” says Cpl. Gabriel Olivera of Harrisburg’s Criminal Investigations Division.

In the past — just changing one ingredient in the drug would be enough to get around the law.

But the drug would still have the same effect on the person.

“Think about it if you had gasoline and you change it slightly by one molecule…it’s not gasoline anymore but you can still operate your car,” says Chardo.

And that’s the most dangerous aspect of it all.

Just one dose can literally make you psychotic.

“We’ve seen people become very aggressive, very agitated with this … these items since they’re chemically made interact very differently with each individual person,” says Olivera.

Police say this new law was the reason law enforcement made the largest synthetic marijuana drug bust in Harrisburg’s history.

An investigation revealed 4 stores were averaging sales of 200 to 300 packets of synthetic marijuana each week raking in more than $55,000 dollars.

“This gives us a lot more teeth to go after them because before we would have to wait to get lab reports to determine if it was an illegal substance,” says Olivera.

Police say the people who were arrested in this case face the same degree of charges as someone faces who is delivering or selling cocaine.

It’s a felony charge and police want people to be aware that all synthetic drugs are now illegal no matter what is in them.


  • NorthPole

    There illegal. That will stop the bad guys from using and selling. And the good guys
    don't use them so were now safe. Right on Gov Right on ………

    • Joe

      Let me educate you. First, you misspelled we're. Second, the Governor does not make law. To be correct, you should have said, right on legislature. The guv, as you say, signs the law and the Attorney General enforces it.

      • uhavenoclu

        Sorta like the prez who reads a script written by others and who doesn't know what he is signing and doesn't sign or talk from the heart.
        So does blanket law mean covering up the truth?

  • MyTakeOnIt

    Would it be immoral for the government to lace drugs with arsenic so that they can clean out the wacko users and hence protect the rest of us?

  • Storm Crow

    So does this outlaw aspirin? It is a synthetic drug, too! And "My", the DID poison the drugs! Look up "paraquat"! Causes lung damage and more. Bet you are just thrilled to pieces that your government HAS tried to poison people!

  • James

    Spice is poison. It’s killing people and needs to be stopped. Arresting people discourages other people from selling it. Of course someone will try to skirt the law but there has to be a fear of repercussions or else it will be in far more stores than it is already.


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  • PaGuy

    Stay away from this stuff … far far away. Take it from someone who almost died. You don't know what is in it, think it is legal, end up in ER … getting caught may be the last thing you are worrying about. There is no consistency and you think it is fine, then one day …ouch! You have police and emt's at your house because you are looking like you are having a stroke. Trust me people, just don't do it. Find other ways to relax and have fun or you will be like me and become and advocate against it and just happy you are still alive. Anyone curious about it should be told the truth, I was more than stupid and now I am ashamed and embarrassed beyond belief for being so stupid. I pray someone reads this and takes what I say to heart …because I thought it was fine and didn't have any problem until one day I must have got a "hot spot". I learned the hard way, and I pray no one else has to go through that like I did. And I will be totally honest … it was such a small "toke" (for lack of better terms … even I couldn't believe the damage it did. Trust me folks, you don't want to feel like I feel now. I let my family down, I let my community down, I let my friends down, I let everyone down for trying that stuff. DON'T BE CURIOUS! You know the saying …curiosity killed the cat …. well, this is YOUR LIFE!

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