** MEDIA ADVISORY***
***Friday, June 22nd at 2:30 pm***
Brewster, N.Y. – (6/20/12) – Senator Greg Ball (R,C-Patterson), with various elected officials and members of the law enforcement community will host a press conference to urge the Assembly and Governor to pass S6694A, legislation that would make the sale of synthetic marijuana illegal in New York State.
Synthetic marijuana or “fake pot” are herbs sprayed with chemicals called “synthetic cannabinoids.” These products include Spice, K2, Cloud 9 and Black 9, and have dangerous side effects, including rapid heart rate, tremors, loss of consciousness and hallucinations. “Bath salts”, or “substituted cathinones,” are chemically related to methamphetamines and ecstasy that also cause harmful physical and psychological reactions.
These substances, generally referred to as synthetic marijuana, consist of plant material coated by chemicals that mimic THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. These products are being sold as a legal alternative to marijuana in convenience stores, smoke shops, and tobacco stores with different brand names.
Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a law to ban the sale of “bath salts” last year, and just last month the New York State Department of Health banned the sale and distribution of synthetic marijuana through an Order for Summary Action. An Order for Summary Action can be repealed at any time.
“Although I applaud Governor Cuomo’s actions, there is no law on the books that will permanently and fully protect our communities from synthetic marijuana and bath salts,” said Senator Greg Ball. “As we all know, Marijuana is a serious gateway drug. This legislation will make it an actual crime to possess and sell synthetic marijuana, and for the first time there will be an actual penalty, rather than a simple fine.”
“Our main priority in the Town of Carmel is the health, safety and welfare of our residents, visitors and those here doing business,” said Carmel Town Supervisor Ken Schmitt. “Senator Ball’s bill will make synthetic marijuana, which has been proven to be extremely dangerous, illegal. What is currently in place is a watered down version that does not protect the public. I look forward to working with Senator Ball to lobby this bill through the Assembly.”
“Over the past few years, the Town of Carmel has committed, through the Special Conditions Unit of the Carmel Police Department to fight against illegal drugs and to keep them off of our streets,” said Carmel Councilman Frank Lombardi. “While I applaud the Governor’s ban of the sale of synthetic marijuana, I believe we need strict criminal penalties for those who sell this poison to our youth.”
“The use and sale of Synthetic Marijuana is a very troubling trend that is permeating our society and having a negative impact upon our youth. These substances, which are being marketed as an herb, can be found in local convenience stores and are readily accessible to the youth in our community. Although the products, such as K2 and Spice are sold as incense, it is clear that this is a thinly veiled representation of products that can induce euphoric or hallucinogenic affects if consumed. The legal use of these substances, which mimic the effects of marijuana, enables young people to consume them without the stigma of being labeled as a drug user. Whether the stigma is present or not, Synthetic Marijuana is still providing a gateway to harder drugs, much in the same way as marijuana. It is this transition that leads individuals to commit crimes, suffer health implications and lowers our overall quality of life,” said Lieutenant Brian D. Karst of the Carmel Police Department. “From a law enforcement standpoint we whole heartedly support any legislation or movement that prevents the sale and use of these dangerous substances.”
Who: Senator Greg Ball
Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell
Carmel Town Councilman Frank Lombardi
Carmel Town Councilwoman Suzi McDonough
Town of Carmel Police Lt. Brian Karst
Director of the Putnam County Youth Bureau Joseph DeMarzo
What: Press Conference on legislation to ban synthetic marijuana
When: Friday, June 22nd at 2:30 pm
Where: Town of Carmel Police Department, 60 McAlpin Avenue, Mahopac, NY 10541
For more information or to speak with Senator Ball, please contact Krista Gobins at 845-531-97960.