The state of New York has banned synthetic marijuana, in the wake of an exposé that revealed that young New Yorkers are being sent to the emergency room by these designer drugs. An order from the state Health Department was released on Thursday, March29.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo gave the following statement: “We are banning the sale of synthetic marijuana because, no matter what you call it, it’s clear that this is an illegal drug which is putting the health of New Yorkers, especially young adults, at risk.”
“By acting now we can put parents’ minds at ease by preventing the spread of synthetic marijuana in our communities and our schools. We need to stop this problem before it starts and get this drug off the shelves of every store in our state to protect our children’s health and safety,” he added.
Synthetic marijuana is already banned in three dozen other states, but is still widely available at corner stores and gas stations in New York.
The substance has been associated with severe medical and psychiatric reactions, as well as kidney failure, paranoia, hallucination, high blood pressure, and heart rate.
Jim Burns, special agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration in New York, said: “This is an important step in the right direction, because currently these dangerous substances are only temporarily banned at the federal level… To have this banned at the state level enables both state and federal authorities to take action now to make sure these substances are removed and aren’t sold to the public.”