Fall River mayor seeks bath salt ban

FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — The mayor of Fall River is seeking to eliminate the sale of synthetic drugs in Massachusetts retail stores.

Drugs such as synthetic cathinones, otherwise known as bath salts, and synthetic cannabinoids, or synthetic marijuana, are currently available for sale across the state, and when abused can mimmick the effects of illegal drugs such as cocaine.

These substances have already been banned in 45 states after an expeditious rise in popularity, which resulted in a wave of deaths, including recently in Vermont.

Mayor Will Flanagan has now asked the Fall River City Council to bring his draft ordinance before the ordinance committee for review. Back in May, U.S. Senator Jack Reed announced a push to ban the chemicals across the country. Since they’re not meant for human consumption, the synthetic drugs are not categorized as food, food supplements or drugs, and without classification there’s no regulatory body overseeing their sale.

The ordinance would grant enforcement power to the police, and impose a fine of $300 for anyone caught using, as well as selling and displaying the products.

Verona residents learn about bath salts and meth

VERONA—Nearly 80 people gathered at the Verona Fire Hall Monday night to learn about the effects that bath salts and meth are having on their community.

Councilman Fred “Fritz” Scherz said he hosted the “Bath Salts and Meth Forum” to inform the public and answer any questions residents might have.

“The statistics for Oneida and Onondaga County are the highest right now in New York state for incidents on bath salts; that’s scary stuff,” he said. “There is so much I don’t know about it and I thought there are probably a lot people out there who might not know. But to do something like this and make it a success you have to have a panel of experts.”

That panel of experts included, Paramedic Ken Boone, New York State Police Capt. Frank Coots; Doc. Alexander Garrardat from Upstate Medical University; Sylvan Beach Assistant Fire Chief Rick Johnson; Samantha McCarthy, a representative from the Center of Family Life & Recovery, Oneida County Undersheriff Robert Swenszkowski and Paramedic Bill Vineall.

One community member asked why people have such a wide range of responses when they take bath salts.

Garrard explained that there are a number of variables that need to be taken into account such as the unpredictable reactions of each person and the frequent change in the compounds used to make the drugs.

“One way to think of this is that it is essentially chemical Russian roulette,” he said. “You never really know when the next time you use may be your last time, because there are so many unknowns.”

Garrard said that bath salts can be snorted, smoked, or put in water and injected using a needle. Bath salts stimulate both the brain and the heart.

The usage of the drugs can cause convulsions, seizures, chest pain, sweating, hallucinations and violence.

It bring on suicidal thoughts that are sometimes put into action. It can also cause heart attacks, permanent brain damage and hallucinations that can last for days or weeks.
Upstate Poison Control Center received more than 330 bath-salts-related calls this year in the 54 counties it covers. Oneida County is one of the areas generating the most calls.

The experts said the drug can harm more than just the users.Innocent bystanders, police, paramedics, family members and tax payers, all pay a price.

“The local law right now… the highest penalty is $1,000 fine and a year in jail,” said Undersheriff Robert Swenszkowski. “Each day that the violation continues there will be a separate and distinct offense where a separate penalty will apply. Meaning that selling and processing on a Tuesday is separate from selling and processing on a Wednesday, which will be tried for another year and another fine.”

Swenszkowski said that the current law isn’t perfect and he hopes that in the near future another more definitive criminal law will be passed by the state.

Clinton resident Mary Beth King came to the forum as a concerned citizen and health teacher at Clinton High School; she plans on using the information she learned at the meeting to help educate her students this fall.

“I’m trying to keep on the cutting edge so that our students are informed about the risks and the cost to society,” she said. “Not just financial but social and family costs, as well as making informed decisions.”

Throughout the forum experts explained that the drug has no specific demographic; reported users range from ages 16 to 60 with a variety of economic and education backgrounds.

King noted those facts are shocking, “it can happen to anyone,” she said.

Bath salts’ popularity points to dangerous trend

The new drug hit Batavia’s youth like the plague.
A piercing artist at Affliction Tattoo shop, Eric Betz, had seen his fair share of stoned, high and tripping substance abusers.
But nothing like the girl he saw in the park next to his house smashing her head into a cement wall.
“Ever see Batman?” he asked. “They act like the Joker: Psychotic. Aggressive. Paranoid.”
The culprit was “bath salts,” the increasingly popular narcotic associated with violent acts and paranoia. Bath salts were sold legally in head shops and corner stores across New York State up until two weeks ago, when Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced a crackdown on synthetic drugs sweeping the nation. The governor unveiled new state Health Department regulations making it illegal to buy or sell these synthetic drugs, with violators facing up to $500 in fines and up to 15 days in jail.
Experts say that while making the drugs illegal may cut down on the number of cases reported, it will likely not annihilate the drug.
“We banned marijuana, cocaine and heroin, but they’re still out there,” said Senior Detective Alan Rozansky, head of the Erie County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Squad.
The drug isn’t related to regular bath salts used in bathing, which are made of actual salt and added fragrances. But the narcotics were sometimes sold under that label.
The drug is in fact synthesized from various methamphetamine-like chemicals, allowing it to be inhaled, swallowed or injected.
As a new drug, its effects have yet to be fully understood, though research indicates it’s highly addictive.
Its use nationwide spiked in the past year. In 2010, poison control centers reported receiving 304 phone calls related to bath salts. Last year, that number shot up to 6,138, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers.
The powdery substances were previously sold in small packets at head shops or corner stores – and often most accessible over the Internet.
Prices ranged from $25 to $50 for a 50-milligram packet.
Though generically referred to as “bath salts,” they’ve been sold under names such as Ivory Wave, Purple Wave, Red Dove, White Dove, Blue Silk and Zoom. Sometimes they were labeled as plant food.
The bath salts have been manufactured with legal chemicals, allowing distributors to sell them without criminal penalty.
While “bath salts” aren’t methamphetamine or cocaine, experts say they could be more threatening because they were only recently made illegal, and because the community has yet to build up the same fear that surrounds other drugs.
Last year, after several minors showed up at hospitals with bath salt-related symptoms – hallucinations, suicidal thoughts and rapid heart rates – U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. authorized search warrants for the drug sellers and several arrests were made, including that of a Williamsville man accused of selling synthetic marijuana from two shops in Tonawanda, where authorities also seized bath salts.
While the drug itself was still legal at the time of the raids, Hochul said the sales were illegal under the Federal Analog Act because the bath salts had the same effect as a regulated drug, such as methamphetamine and that the seller sold the drug for purposes of human consumption.
Authorities said the sellers would tell undercover officers something like, “It gives you a good high.”
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office filed lawsuits in 12 counties last month, accusing 16 stores of violating state labeling laws, after investigators found head shops selling bath salts, among other synthetic drugs, in packages that failed to list ingredients.
Pavilion International, which operates shops at 3234 Main St. in Buffalo and 4225 Transit Road in Amherst, was among those sued.
While Genesee County had more highly publicized episodes and greater community involvement in protesting the drug’s use, Hochul said a similar number of cases are seen in Buffalo. They are just overshadowed by a wide range of other crimes that get more publicity, he said.
In Batavia, the use of bath salts declined since police shut down the 420 Emporium, a major market for the drug, said Detective Rich Schauf of the Batavia Police Department.
The fact that bath salts are now illegal should also decrease their use, he said.But he is concerned that, because the drug was once legal, people will believe it isn’t harmful and make them curious to try it.
“Up until now, you could walk into the store and buy it,” he said.
Because of the new regulations and educational programs, Schauf said he believes people are starting to understand that the drug was never intended for recreational use and is dangerous.
“It’s a common misconception that ‘legal’ equals ‘safe,’ ” he said. “That’s not the case at all.”
Bath salts have increased the workload at Batavia’s United Memorial Medical Center’s emergency room, according to Chief Medical Officer Michael Merrill.
“At one point, we had patients coming in every day,” he said.
Merrill describes bath salts as “designer drugs meant to be effective,” and particularly dangerous due to their link with violent acts.
The new drug, though, has been especially troubling to Betz, the tattoo shop employee, who said he knows about 15 people who use it.
He and his co-workers have created a Facebook page, Let’s Beat Bath Salts, where people in the area have shared stories of what they’ve witnessed in order to stir their crusade against the drug’s use.
“I’ve watched them destroy their lives, lose their money and their self-respect,” he said.

Forget Bath Salts! New Drug Kills 8 People Within Two Days!

A new lethal drug has emerged onto the scene in Charleston, West Virginia. It’s describe as a highly potent chemical substance and has killed eight people within the last two days!

At first suspected to be a form of cocaine, the drug was later identified as AM 2201.

DETAILS: The Gov. Cracks Down! Cuomo Adds Bath Salts To Banned Substance List

The Charleston DM reports:

Lt. Steve Cooper, chief detective for the Charleston Police Department, said eight people have overdosed on the substance in the last two days. Three were hospitalized Wednesday night and five the day before.

All eight remained hospitalized Thursday evening, but he could provide no information about their conditions. None have been charged.

At first speculated to be a form of orange crack cocaine, the substance actually is called AM 2201, a synthetic cannibinoid that has been used to coat the potpourri that was sold as synthetic marijuana.

The lieutenant said the powdery substance apparently smoked by those who were sickened was confirmed to be AM 2201. The names of those affected were not released.

BLOG: Mr. President, The War On Drugs Isn’t Killing America, So Stop Pretending It Is

Reportedly an reaction to the drug is immediate and the user were taking the substance in pure form causing them experience extreme anxiety, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, hallucinations, vomiting or seizures.

Hopefully this is under control soon and no one else is subject to the fatal effects.

Bangor man who witnessed friend’s fatal stabbing arrested for bath salts, heroin possession

BANGOR, Maine — A resident of First Street who witnessed his childhood friend get mortally stabbed in front of his apartment in May was caught last week with heroin and the synthetic drug bath salts, police Sgt. Paul Edwards said Monday.

Eugene “Shawn” Cox, 40, told police his truck malfunctioned at about 3:15 p.m. Thursday when he crashed it into several trees by the Bangor police station. The crash was witnessed by Officer Joe Baillargeon, who had just arrived.

“He saw this blue pickup truck hit a couple trees,” then stop in its tracks, Edwards said. “Mr. Cox said he thought he lost a piece of his steering component and he couldn’t steer.”

After the collision, “we were all looking out the window,” the sergeant said, referring to himself and his co-workers at the station.

Cox was sweating and acting nervously and that alerted Baillargeon, who along with Officer Kevin Haefele found a knife in a holster on his waist and a push-button switchblade in his pocket, according to Edwards.

“He also had some plastic baggies, one that tested positive for MDPV [methylenedioxypyrovalerone] — bath salts,” Edwards said.

A second baggie contained heroin, a test confirmed, the sergeant said.

Cox was charged with possession of synthetic hallucinogenic drugs, unlawful possession of scheduled drugs and trafficking in dangerous knives.

He was taken to the Penobscot County Jail and later released.

Cox said he was upstairs in his apartment on First Street at about 1:45 a.m. on May 22 when he heard his friend Andy D. Smith, 38, arguing with a woman he once lived with out in the street when another woman intervened.

The second woman, who lives next door at 71 First St., “came out with a two-by-four and she hit him,” apparently in defense of the first woman, Cox told the Bangor Daily News.

“He got the two-by-four away from her and she called for her friends. They all started on him.”

Seconds later, Smith was bleeding from a wound to his left rib area and was trying to get away. Cox did not see who stabbed his friend, whom he had met in middle school.

“I ran down with a pipe” and met a bleeding Smith at the bottom of the steps, he said.

The last thing Smith said to his longtime friend was “to tell his kids that he loved them,” Cox said.

Jason Alan Trickett, 41, admitted to police that he stabbed Smith, whom he described as a friend, and now is facing manslaughter charges.

Smith, who is survived by his wife and two children, died after he was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center.

Rudy Eugene’s Toxicology Report: Experts speculate on what caused ‘face-chewing’ attack

CBS/AP) MIAMI – Experts are still speculating about what may have caused Rudy Eugene’s face-chewing attack on Ronald Poppo in Miami last month. A toxicology report on Wednesday failed to find “bath salts” and other major street drugs in Eugene’s system.

Pictures: Fla. police identify “face-eating” naked man

The Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner said in a news release that the toxicology detected marijuana but it didn’t find any other street drugs, alcohol or prescription drugs. Eugene also tested negative for adulterants commonly mixed with street drugs.

An expert on toxicology testing said marijuana alone wasn’t likely to cause behavior as strange as Eugene’s.

“The problem today is that there is an almost an infinite number of chemical substances out there that can trigger unusual behavior,” said Dr. Bruce Goldberger, Professor and Director of Toxicology at the University of Florida.

There has been much speculation about what drugs, if any, would lead to the bizarre May 26 attack at a Miami causeway that left Poppo, 65, missing about 75 percent of his face. The tests ruled out the suggestion that 35-year-old Eugene may have been under the influence of bath salts, which mimic the effects of cocaine or methamphetamine and have been associated with bizarre crimes in recent months.

An outside forensic toxicology lab, which took a second look at the results, also confirmed the absence of bath salts, synthetic marijuana and LSD.

Goldberger said the medical examiner’s office in Miami is known for doing thorough work and he’s confident they and the independent lab covered as much ground as possible. But it’s nearly impossible for toxicology testing to keep pace with new formulations of synthetic drugs.

“There are many of these synthetic drugs that we currently don’t have the methodology to test on, and that is not the fault of the toxicology lab. The challenge today for the toxicology lab is to stay on top of these new chemicals and develop methodologies for them but it’s very difficult and very expensive.” Goldberger said. “There is no one test or combination of tests that can detect every possible substance out there.”

An addiction expert said she wouldn’t rule out marijuana causing the agitation.

“It could have been the strain of marijuana that increases the dopamine in the brain, such as sativa,” said Dr. Patricia Junquera, assistant professor at the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

There are two strains of marijuana called sativa and indica. The sativa increases dopamine and gives you energy while decreasing pain threshold. Indica is a “sleepy high,” she explained.

“People don’t really know what the amount of either is in each little packet of marijuana,” she explained. “And we can’t differentiate between the two in the blood, much less in a dead person.”

She also suggested that if Eugene had a mental disorder, “the marijuana could have increased even further the dopamine levels and aggravated the situation. So that can’t be ruled out.”

Eugene’s friends and family have said he was religious, not violent and that he didn’t drink or do drugs harder than marijuana, so they are baffled as to what caused Eugene’s brutal assault against the homeless victim.

“There’s no answer for it, not really,” said Marckenson Charles, Eugene’s younger brother. “Anybody who knew him knows this wasn’t the person we knew him to be. Whatever triggered him, there is no answer for this.”

Charles said the family does not plan to pursue any legal action against the police for shooting Eugene on the day of the face-chewing attack. Surveillance video from a nearby building shows Eugene stripping Poppo and pummeling him. The police officer who shot Eugene to death reportedly said Eugene growled at the officer when he told him to stop.

“They used the force they felt was necessary even if we don’t agree with that,” Charles said.

He said Eugene has been buried.

Poppo has undergone several surgeries and remains hospitalized. His left eye was removed, but doctors said earlier this month they were trying to find a way to restore vision in his right eye. He will need more surgeries before he can explore the options for reconstructing his face, doctors have said.

Heartbroken mothers and city’s emergency room doctors praise Gov. Cuomo’s crackdown on synthetic pot and bath salts

Gov. Cuomo is keeping the heat on the little guys in the big war against designer drugs.
This is welcome news to city emergency room doctors who have been rescuing way too many teenagers showing up with heart palpitations, hallucinations, high blood pressure and anxiety from synthetic pot and bath salts.
“Anything you can do to make these drugs a little more unreachable is a good thing,” said Dr. Lewis Nelson of NYU Medical Center. “The belief is that if it’s sold in a store, not by a corner drug dealer how bad can it be? This won’t stop people from using it all together, like any drug. But it will make people think twice.”
Cuomo’s move was also music to the ears of mothers like Deirdre Canaday of upstate New York, whose 26 year-old son, Aaron, never woke up after smoking a packet of “Mr. Nice Guy” in September.
And to Karen Dobner of Illinois, whose mild-mannered son, Max, 19, bought some iAroma at a mall and was so out of his mind after smoking it, he drove 100 mph through his suburban Chicago neighborhood and crashed through a house killing himself on impact.
“Good for Gov. Cuomo,” Dobner said. “[If] you shut down these local head shops or bodegas, they will stop poisoning our kids.”

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/heartbroken-mothers-city-emergency-room-doctors-praise-gov-cuomo-crackdown-synthetic-pot-bath-salts-article-1.1130426#ixzz22s8QhMFt

3 Indicted For Allegedly Trafficking Bath Salts

The Franklin County Grand Jury indicted the first three cases involving the trafficking of bath salts in Franklin County.

Soleiman Mobarak and Hasan Mobarak, both of Columbus, and Thomas C. Smith of Groveport were indicted after being arrested as part of a national crackdown on bath salts on July 25.

Smith, owner of The Joint, The Gardens and The Chamber, all located along the 1100 block of North High Street, was arrested after officers executed search warrants at the

A search warrant was also executed at the S&K Market, located along East Fifth Avenue. Soleiman Mobarak was arrested and charged with a felony count of permitting drug abuse in connection with that bust.

The raids were executed as part of Operation Log Jam, a Drug Enforcement Administration initiative that spanned 30 states, was aimed at breaking down the web of illegal drug connections between suppliers, distributors and retailers.

More than 100 people were arrested during the raids.

The operation, the latest of its kind in DEA history, netted more than $14 million worth of bath salts and cash. Nearly $500,000 was seized just in central Ohio.

Watch 10TV News and refresh 10TV.com for continuing coverage.

Senator Griffo and Assemblyman Braunstein unveil anti-bath salts bill to toughen penalties

State Senator Joseph A. Griffo (R/C/IP -Rome), supported by Assemblyman Edward C. Braunstein (D-Bayside),have unveiled new legislation designed to meet the rising use of the drugs with legislation that will help protect the public. The legislation is also supported by Assemblyman Anthony J. Brindisi (D/WF/IP-Utica), in response to an escalation of bath salts use in his district.

“In 2011, we took a strong role to address the issue of these hallucinogenic drugs being sold in New York, and we passed a good law that Gov. Cuomo signed last July. However, what we are seeing in recent days is a dramatic upsurge in incidents in which the violent, bizarre behavior of individuals who have confronted the police is being linked to their use of these drugs. As such, I am going to be working with my partners in the Senate, Assembly and Governor’s office to pass legislation that will take stronger action, because I believe the response to what we are seeing is to take even stronger measures to protect families and our law enforcement personnel,” Griffo said.

“Between the time we developed last year’s legislation and this summer, we have seen an explosion of synthetic drugs that are causing serious law enforcement, health and mental health problems for communities and families across New York State,” said Braunstein. “Our goal with this new legislation is to respond to the concerns addressed to us by law enforcement and develop a bill that will give them the tools needed to crack down harder in order to end the widespread misuse of these drugs.”

“One of the reasons the use of bath salts has skyrocketed in recent weeks is its easy availability,” said Assemblyman Anthony J. Brindisi (D/WF/IP-Utica.) “I am joining with Senator Griffo and Assemblyman Braunstein as a sponsor on this legislation, because I believe it will make it much more difficult for store owners to sell these products. When people use these drugs, they often become violent and irrational, and this has become a serious public safety issue. It is important that we get the message across to store owners and individuals that if they sell these products, they can face significant criminal penalties.”

The new bill would classify substituted cathinones (these products, often referred to as “bath salts”, are chemically related to methamphetamines and ecstasy – which are both classified as stimulants) as Schedule I stimulant controlled substances and create a Statewide substituted Cathinone Surrender Program to allow for surrender of these harmful substances to appropriate authorities. Griffo noted that his initial legislation criminalized the sale of “bath salt” products containing Mephedrone and MDPV. Since then, a current practice of making minor alterations to chemicals to subvert statutes that prohibit distinct chemicals made it possible for slightly altered “bath salt” products to continue to be sold in New York State. Braunstein noted that in this new legislation, by adding substituted cathinones to the CSA based on foundational chemical structures, this loophole of chemical alteration would be closed. Not only will this bill provide criminal sanctions, but also makes it a felony to sell such product to a minor or on school grounds

Senator Griffo praised Assemblyman Braunstein, who has sponsored previous bills on bath salts with him, and also Assemblyman Brindisi for his support for laws in response to the dangerous increase in bath salts use.

“There is a can-do spirit in Albany that says when there is a public safety priority to address, we work as partners and we move as fast as we can and we work as hard as we can to get results,” Griffo said. “Assemblyman Braunstein’s efforts will help make New York safer. I appreciate the partnership with Assemblyman Brindisi so that we can move this bill swiftly through both chambers when we return to Albany. Protecting the people knows no party lines.”

“I am proud to work together again with Senator Joseph A. Griffo, to pass this bill, which would strengthen our previous legislation by preventing drug dealers from evading the law by changing the chemical composition of ‘bath salts.’ These dangerous meth-like drugs have caused numerous violent and tragic incidents throughout the country and we must take stronger action against ‘bath salts’ in order to protect the public as well as law enforcement officers,” Assemblyman Braunstein said.

According to UPSTATE Medical University and the Upstate New York Poison Center “bath salts” is a common term used for man-made stimulant (upper) drugs that are similar to “ICE” methamphetamine (or crystal meth). Since they are very similar to other stimulant (upper) drugs like meth (amphetamine), they are very dangerous when used. “Bath salts” can be snorted, smoked, or even put in water and injected using a needle. They come in a variety of different and attractive packaging with enticing names like “Cloud Nine”, “White Lightening.” “Purple Rain”, “Pixie Dust”, and many more. These drugs stimulate the nervous system (brain) and the cardiac system (heart). Severe symptoms may occur including convulsions, seizures, chest pain, excessive sweating, hallucination, anger/violence, suicidal thoughts and action. The use of “bath salts” can cause heart attacks, permanent brain damage and scary hallucinations that can last for days or even weeks. Behavior can result in suicide or the harm to or killing of others. The Upstate New York Poison Center has received 198 cases of reported incidents related to “bath salts” so far in 2012. Central New York has been particularly hard hit, with Oneida County having 36 cases in 2012, as opposed to 8 in 2011; Onondaga County 35 (9 in 2011); Oswego County 17 Cases (10 in 2011); and Madison County having 15 cases (none in 2011).

Griffo said, “These so-called ‘bath salts’ are not the same as aromatic bath salts. They contain a potentially lethal mix of synthetic drugs and serve no purpose other than to get the user high. My legislation sought to ban these dangerous substances so we may help keep our young people safe and give our law enforcement the authority to rid our State of these dangerous drugs. What we are finding since the law took effect is that more action is needed because of the incidents taking place across Central New York.”

Braunstein added: “Dangerous substances are being marketed under many names, but the result is the same – damaging effects to the user and potentially dangerous situations for the police and community. Our new bill will help to stop this epidemic.”

Health Department regulation will make it a violation to buy, sell or possess synthetic drugs like bath salts and fake marijuana

ALBANY — State and local law enforcement would have new power to fight the growing problem of designer drugs and fake pot under a new regulation set to be announced by Gov. Cuomo.
The Health Department regulation, to be unveiled Tuesday, will make it a violation to sell, distribute, or possess synthetic drugs like bath salts and fake pot.
Violators could face up to 15 days in jail, a small fine, or even have their businesses shut down.
“It gives law enforcement a nimble, flexible tool they can take immediate action on,” a Cuomo aide said.
The state will also create a hotline for parents and others to report stores selling the illegal products. And the Health Department will spearhead a web campaign to educate the public about the deadly drugs.
The actions come a month after President Obama signed a law to ban designer drugs and fake pot.
The Cuomo administration order doesn’t hold nearly the same power as the federal law, which carries penalties of up to 20 years in prison — or more if someone dies or is seriously hurt. The federal law also carries fines of up to $5 million for first-time offenders.
Cuomo aides say the state action is similar to going after low-level drug dealers while the feds focus on the kingpins.
“The feds are going to go after the big fish, but it’s not the big fish that are necessarily the problem,” one aide said. “It’s the bodega on the corner. And a U.S. attorney is not going to go after a bodega on the corner.”
The regulation builds on an order Cuomo’s Health Department issued last year banning the sale of the synthetic drugs and allowing for the shutdown of businesses that ignored it.
That order followed an exclusive Daily News investigation revealing the deadly dangers of the designer drug.
But manufacturers responded by simply tweaking the chemical compounds to stay ahead of the authorities.
The new regulation outlaws dozens more chemicals than the previous one and, for the first time, makes it a violation that allows local law enforcement to get involved.
Also, unlike the federal law, someone simply possessing a synthetic drug without the intent to sell it can be charged, a Cuomo aide said.
Synthetic drugs are marketed as imitating the effects of pot, cocaine and LSD. They are often masked as everyday household items like bath salts or potpourri.
But they can cause hallucinations, seizures and suicidal or homicidal thoughts.
Emergency room visits and state Poison Control calls linked to the deadly drugs have been on the rise since 2011, the state Health Department reported.
Sen. Charles Schumer, who sponsored the federal law, called the Cuomo action “another tool at our disposal.”