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The growing popularity of synthetic drugs known as “bath salts” has contributed to the rise in the number of arrests related to drugged driving in Pennsylvania, according to a state DUI (driving under the influence) expert.

George Geisler, Drug Recognition Expert at the PA DUI Association, told the Harrisburg Patriot-News that because bath salts are currently legal in Pennsylvania, people think it’s fine to take them and drive. In the past three years, the number of drug-DUI arrests in Pennsylvania jumped from 15 percent of all DUI arrests in 2008 to 23 percent in 2010. Geisler says much of that rise is due to the boom in the popularity of synthetic drugs such as bath salts.

The Pennsylvania House and Senate last week passed a ban on synthetic drugs; the bill is awaiting the governor’s signature. The law would make synthetic pot—known as K2 or Spice—along with bath salts and the herb salvia, Schedule I narcotics. The article notes that New Jersey, Louisiana and Florida have already banned bath salts. According to the article, more than a dozen states have banned synthetic marijuana.

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