“The scourge of synthetic drugs, such as ‘K2’, is affecting all our communities, and these deadly substances are increasing in popularity,” said Senator Kemp Hannon (R-Nassau). “These dangerous synthetic drugs are rife for abuse, and are in many cases more deadly and addictive than the actual drug they seek to mimic.”
Hannon announces the Senate has passed 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.
“More than 6,800 people have been hospitalized across New York as the result of using synthetic drugs,” said Hannon. “These manmade drugs can cause death, and manufacturers often change the chemical compounds of these products so they can stay one step ahead of our efforts to eradicate them through laws.”
The bills the Senate passed to eradicate the sale of K2 and other synthetic drugs include:
·S.2836C adds the current list of known synthetic cannabinoids to the Schedule I list and creates criminal penalties for possession and sale;
·S.4743 adds Alpha-PVP, known as “flakka” or “gravel,” to the public health law Schedule I of controlled substances;
·S.1640A amends the Controlled Substances Act to add to the Schedule any analogous drugs;
·S.6040A 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
·S.6496 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.