Frankfort bans compounds found in synthetic drugs

The village board of trustees Thursday night unanimously passed legislation banning many of the ingredients in bath salts and synthetic marijuana.
Specifically, the local law banned a number of compounds and derivatives of compounds that make up the drugs.
Anyone caught in possession of or using synthetic marijuana or bath salts with these ingredients within the village limits could be subject to a fine and time in jail.
The law took effect immediately.
Frankfort Police Chief Ronald Petrie said the substances and compounds – many of which have not yet been classified as illegal under federal and state law – pose a risk to the life, health and safety of users and the public at large.
“Due to the unpredictable nature of people under the influence of bath salts, there is a safety concern for residents and officers,” he said.
With a surge in the number of people using bath salts, a methamphetamine-like stimulant that can cause intense hallucinations, paranoia and violet behavior, on the rise nationally and locally, Petrie said the ban was necessary.
“This is a growing epidemic and this law gives the village something that can be enforced,” he said.
Similar to local laws passed in the village of Herkimer and the city of Utica, and to the local law being considered in the village of Dolgeville, the ordinance is broadly worded to include any and all synthetic drugs, even those that do not exist yet. Petrie said this was done to make sure the drugs can not change faster than the law. He also said the village of Frankfort’s local law is in addition to the state and national ban.
“This ban gives the village the ability to prosecute offenders,” he said. “It’s a law that minimizes the threat to persons residing in and visiting the village.”
Mayor Frank Moracco called on all municipalities in Herkimer County to adopt a law banning the compounds found in synthetic marijuana and bath salts of their own.
“This is something everyone needs to be the same page on,” said Moracco. “This is something that is plaguing the whole area, and it is something that residents and first responders are having an issue with. It’s an issue not only in the village of Frankfort, but throughout Herkimer County and Central New York, and it’s reach is far greater than that.”
The village of Frankfort’s local law combined language found in federal, state and other local laws to ensure the best punishment for offenders.
Individuals found selling or possessing bath salts or any derivative of the drug in the village could face up to $250 in fines and 30 days in jail.

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