Senator Venditto Votes to Approve Legislation to Combat Synthetic Drugs

New York State Senator Michael Venditto (R, C, I- Massapequa) voted this week on a package of bills to prevent the abuse of deadly synthetic drugs. Synthetic drugs have increased in popularity because their effects are similar to known hallucinogens or narcotics but their chemical structures are slightly altered so restrictions against illegal substances can be evaded. "This summer, I promised to continue to push for legislation to protect our children and families from dangerous substances, such as synthetic marijuana, including k-2. Yesterday, I voted on a package of bills aimed at combating these harmful drugs," said Senator Venditto. The Senate Majority Coalition also released a report, The State of Synthetics: A Review of the Synthetic Cannabinoid Drug Problem in New York & Solutions on Ending the Epidemic, that details the $22.7 million New York State and its taxpayers footed to respond to this public health crisis in 2015. The bills the Senate acted upon to eradicate the sale of K2 and other synthetic drugs, include: · S2836C adds the current list of known synthetic cannabinoids to the Schedule I list and creates criminal penalties for possession and sale; · S4743 adds Alpha-PVP, known as “flakka” or “gravel,” to the public health law Schedule I of controlled substances; · S1640A amends the Controlled Substances Act to add to the Schedule any analogous drugs; · S6040A imposes civil penalties on businesses that sell synthetic cannabinoids. On the third violation, a business would lose its state licenses to sell lottery tickets, alcohol, cigarettes and tobacco products for five years; and · S6496 requires the Department of Health to maintain an electronic database of known synthetic cannabinoids, listing their compounds, a description of products and their street names. The bills will be sent to the Assembly.