Today begins the statewide ban on bath salts and synthetic marijuana. The law was passed 60 days ago and will give police the ability to fight against the abuse of the drugs.

The abuse of bath salts and synthetic marijuana has skyrocketed over the past year. That's why back in June, legislators at the State Capitol made it priority number one to get a ban in place. Now, 60 days later that ban and its enforcement goes into effect today. The ban covers bath salts, synthetic marijuana and cocaine and a drug called Salvia. Police will now have the ability to crack down on buyers, sellers and users of these drugs.

According to a Time Magazine article in May, 2010 saw 302 calls to poison control centers across the nation about bath salts. In just the first three months of this year, that number rose to 784 calls, along with over 1,500 visits to the emergency room. The numbers lead many states to enact a ban like Pennsylvania. In fact, 20 states across the United States have banned bath salts, synthetic marijuana or similar designer drugs.

The new law means these drugs will be listed as a controlled substance. The conviction for a first offense for delivery or possession with the intent to deliver could carry a maximum of five years in prison and a $15,000 fine. A possession conviction will carry a maximum one year prison term and a $5,000 fine.

These drugs are known to have many different side effects like increased paranoia, agitation and suicidal thoughts. That's why police and district attorney's pushed for the ban. They were seeing a lot of cases of people using the drugs and then committing crimes. They hope with the enforcement of these laws, some of these violent instances will drop.