Yesterday, the New York City and New York state health departments banned the sale of synthetic marijuana.
The drug, commonly sold under brand names such as “Spice” and “K2,” has grown in popularity since it became available in New York City about three years ago. However, it has also been linked to increased heart rate, seizures, loss of consciousness, and death. Although synthetic cannabinoids are marketed as herbal drugs, giving users the perception of safety, health experts say they are highly dangerous.
Currently, there is a federal ban on five of the chemicals used to make synthetic marijuana. However, the ban has drawn criticism for “lacking teeth” and will expire in six months. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) has called for a nationwide synthetic marijuana ban.
Going forward, anyone caught selling the drug in New York will be subject to fines. Pending statewide legislation would make selling it a criminal offense. Synthetic marijuana is latest drug to be banned in New York. Last year, the state senate voted to ban the herbal drug Salvia as well as the “energy drink” Four Loko.
Do you think New York legislators made the right call?