Governor Chris Christie has made it a crime in New Jersey to manufacture, distribute, sell or possess the group of designer drugs that have come to be referred to as “bath salts,” legislation that was motivated in part by a nearby death that is believed to have been linked to the narcotics.
Yesterday, Christie signed SCS-2829, which is being referred to as “Pamela’s Law” to honor the memory of Pamela Schmidt, a 22-year-old Rutgers student and resident of Warren who is believed to have been murdered by her boyfriend, Bill Parisio of Cranford, who is said to have been under the influence of “bath salts” at the time of the March incident.
“By signing Pamela’s Law, we are continuing to address the real world impact of these so-called ‘bath salt’ designer drugs that have already negatively impacted the lives of too many New Jerseyans,” the governor said upon signing the legislation.
“These chemicals have no valid medical use and can only cause life-threatening harm to those who ingest them. This action, coupled with our efforts statewide to raise awareness of the dangers of these and other drugs, will give law enforcement the tools they need to properly address the proliferation of these drugs and help us to ensure that needless and senseless additional damage is not caused to families to our state.”
In drug circles, "bath salts" have earned the nickname because they visually resemble therapeutic salts that are commonly used in home tubs and spas. The substance, which has been available online and at convenience stores and smoke shops around the state, is frequently marketed as a cocaine substitute and has been associated with severe side effects including suicidal thoughts and violent outbursts.
The following chemicals are classified as Controlled Dangerous Substances (CDS) under the new law:
- 3,4 – Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV)
- 4 – Methylmethcathinone (Mephedrone, 4-MMC)
- 3,4 – Methylenedioxymethcathinone (Methylone, MDMC)
- 4 – Fluoromethcathinone (Flephedrone, 4-FMC)
- 3 – Fluoromethcathinone (3-FMC)
- 4 – Methoxymethcathinone (Methedrone, bk-PMMA, PMMC)
The law had been introduced by Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-Fanwood) in March. The measure codifies previous action that had been taken by the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety.
In addition to Stender, the sponsors of the bill included Sen. Nicholas P. Scutari (D-Middlesex, Somerset, Union) and Assemblymembers Jon Bramnick (R-Essex, Morris, Somerset, Union) and Nancy Munoz (R-Essex, Morris, Somerset, Union).