‘Bath salts’ bill clears Assembly Judiciary

A bill that would criminalize the possession and sale of products containing the substances found in “bath salts,” was approved in the Assembly Judiciary Committee today.

S2829/A3984 is commonly known as Pamela’s Law in memory of Rutgers University student Pamela Schmidt whose body was discovered March 13 in the basement of the home of her boyfriend’s parents.

The boyfriend, charged in her death, may have been using bath salts, which contain highly addictive chemicals linked by authorities to increased blood pressure and heart rate, as well as hallucinations, paranoia, and other problems.

This bill would make it a crime of the third degree to possess, manufacture, distribute or dispense, or to possess or have under one’s control with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense products containing: 4-methylmethcathinone (mephedrone, 4-MMC); 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV); 3,4-methylenedioxymethcathinone (methylone, MDMC), 4-methoxymethcathinone (methedrone, bk-PMMA, PMMC); 3-fluoromethcathinone (3-FMC); or 4-fluoromethcathinone (flephedrone, 4-FMC). A crime of the third degree is punishable by a three to five years imprisonment, a $15,000 fine, or both.

The lone no vote was from Michael Patrick Carroll, (R-25), Morristown, who said he did not feel this bill was the proper way to address the problem.

“Science keeps inventing new ways to make people feel good,’’ he said, and lawmakers keep passing laws to prohibit them. “Locking people up for taking substances that are perfectly legal in other states is not a good expenditure of people’s funds.’’

He said he was not convinced this bill would do much beyond burdening taxpayers.

The Senate bill was approved by the full Senate recently.

‘Bath salts’ bill clears Assembly Judiciary