Banned Substance Could Still Be Available Locally
BROOKLYN — With calls to New York state’s poison control hotlines involving synthetic marijuana drastically increasing in the first quarter of 2012, Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn), chairman of the Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, issued a warning that “although the State Health Department has banned sales and distribution of synthetic marijuana in New York State and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration has used its emergency powers to make this dangerous substance illegal for sale nationally, it may still be available in convenience stores and online.”
Synthetic cannabinoids consist of plant material coated with chemicals that mimic THC, which is the active chemical of marijuana. While users can achieve highs of between 30 minutes and two hours, the side effects include death and acute renal failure, as well as significant negative effects to the cardiovascular and central nervous systems.
“Our young people must understand that synthetic marijuana is a dangerous substance with reports documenting serious adverse reactions to this substance experienced by people in our community. I am very concerned that a recent study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse revealed that 11.4 percent of high school students have used synthetic marijuana within the last year,” Cymbrowitz stated. “I want to counter the false assumption that synthetic marijuana is both legal and safe. It is neither.”
Synthetic marijuana was sold under such brand names as K2, Spice, Blonde, Summit, Standard, Blaze, Red Dawn X and Citron. It is most commonly administered by smoking.
“Anyone who knows of retailers continuing to sell synthetic marijuana should contact the Drug Enforcement Administration at (877) 883-5789. We need to get this dangerous substance off the market,” Cymbrowitz said.