Assemblywoman Clark: Assembly Passes Bill to Criminalize the Sale and Possession of Synthetic Marijuana in New York State

May 23, 2012
The Assembly announced the passage of legislation (A.9855-A/Zebrowski) that would criminalize the sale and possession of synthetic marijuana in New York State.

"In New York State, we have already taken a proactive approach and have banned the sale and distribution of synthetic marijuana," said Clark. "However, we must take additional action to get these substances out of our communities completely and out of the reach of our youth. This bill goes a step further by criminalizing the sale and possession of synthetic marijuana to ensure people across the state do not suffer the proven, serious side effects of its use."

The bill includes provisions that would add several chemical compounds used to manufacture synthetic marijuana to the schedule of controlled substances, making the sale and possession punishable by imprisonment, a fine, or both. Synthetic marijuana is a chemical substance with structural features and effects similar to those in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main compound found in marijuana.

"These are dangerous chemicals, and they actually have nothing to do with marijuana," said Clark. "These chemicals have been linked to serious adverse reactions, including death and acute renal failure.