New York Bans Sale of Synthetic Marijuana

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The state Department of Health announced a ban on the sale of synthetic marijuana today, ending a practice that some politicians said were endangering children.

State Health Commissioner Nirav Shah announced the ban after Gov. Andrew Cuomo called on the department to ban the sale of the products, which were sold as a “legal alternative” to real marijuana in convenience stores and smoke shops.

“These substances are a threat to public health and need to be removed from commercial sale and distribution in New York. These substances have been linked to severe reactions including the death of users. That is why it is necessary to issue this order banning their sale,” Shah said.

The products would typically be sold under brand names such as “Spice,” “K2,” “Mr. Nice Guy” or “Galaxy Gold.”

State and federal lawmakers campaigned against the sale of the products, claiming they were giving children and teenagers a dangerous high.

Sen. Chuck Schumer applauded the Health Department’s announcement in a statement released on Thursday.

“Gov. Cuomo did the right thing enacting a state ban on this noxious product,” Schumer said. “We are working very hard to establish a federal ban so that kids seeking out these dangerous drugs can’t simply hop in a car and cross state borders to get a deadly high.”

Last May, the state Senate passed a bill to ban the sale of synthetic marijuana. The measure, sponsored by Sen. John Flanagan, R-Suffolk County, would fine those convicted of selling the products up to $500.

It did not pass the Assembly.

The Health Department said the synthetic products have been linked to severe adverse reactions that included seizures, kidney failure, increased heart rates and in a few cases, death.

At the national level, a movement to ban the sale of the products has been stalled by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, who put a hold on the bill in December, drawing the anger of parents and educators.

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  1. The eye-opening info that is buried within this article is, “It did not pass the Assembly.” They should drug-test each one of them, forthwith.