By Ashley Tarr 
Spice. K2. Cloud 9. Black 9.
Those are some of the names for synthetic marijuana, and several Putnam officials are calling for strict regulations to prohibit the sale and distribution of the substance.
A recent press release from the office of State Sen. Greg Ball (R, C — Patterson) describes synthetic marijuana, also known as fake pot, as “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.”
He hosted a press conference on the subject last week. Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell, Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith, Town of Carmel leaders and other officials joined him.
“We have seen horrific consequences, including deaths, this is absolutely no joke and must be on everyone’s radar,” Ball said.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a law to ban the sale of bath salts last year, according to Ball. Recently, the New York State Department of Health banned the sale and distribution of synthetic marijuana through an Order for Summary Action, which Ball says can be repealed at any time.
“The sad reality is that without immediate action by the [New York State] Assembly and the governor, there is currently no law on the books attaching criminal penalties to the use, possession and sale of synthetic marijuana,” he said in a press release, urging the passage of S6694A, which would make the sale of synthetic marijuana illegal in this state.