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Commissioners ban bath salts

Emergency ordinance approved during meeting

SCRANTON – Lackawanna County Commissioners unanimously approved an emergency ordinance banning “the manufacture, sale, acquisition, purchase, possession, use or transfer of any bath salt in Lackawanna County” and “the use of, delivery of, or possession of any item used for the purpose of manufacturing, compounding, converting, testing, or using bath salt” at their meeting Wednesday, April 13.

Effective upon its passing Wednesday, the ordinance states anyone who violates it is guilty of a summary offense and subject to a $1,000 fine, 10 days in jail, or both, along with costs.

“This ordinance provides local law enforcement with an additional tool in not only banning bath salts in our county but providing penalties for violators. This ordinance strengthens and provides additional penalties that the legislation can require,” Commissioner Corey O’Brien said.

The Lackawanna County Home Rule Charter allows the board of commissioners to adopt emergency ordinances for the protection of the public’s well-being, according to a copy of the approved legislation posted online.

In describing past incidents related to so-called bath salts, the legislation explains that the chemical compounds including mephedrone and MDPV are sold under a variety of product names.

The ordinance documents the accusations against a Scranton man who allegedly attack a priest on March 9 while high on the substances and two women from Lackawanna County who allegedly drove through Wilkes-Barre while high on bath salts with their children in the back seat.

“Bath Salts (sic) are an immediate threat to the lives of the inhabitants of Lackawanna County, as demonstrated by the above referenced matters, among other recent events,” the ordinance states.

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