Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski (D-New City) is urging community and statewide support for legislation he sponsored that would completely ban the sale and distribution of synthetic marijuana (A.7324).
“These drugs are extremely dangerous, do not have a place in our community and need to be banned as soon as possible,” Assemblyman Zebrowski said. “Prohibiting the sale and distribution of these synthetic drugs would keep young adults out of harm’s way.”
Synthetic marijuana – also known as Spice or K2 – is often sold as “herbal incense” and labeled for non-human consumption, allowing manufacturers to avoid government regulation.i The chemicals found in this drug can cause agitation, nausea, vomiting, rapid heartbeats, tremors, psychotic episodes, withdrawal, dependence and seizures, among several other adverse health effects.ii Allegedly, the marijuana substitute has been the cause of several recent teen deaths, including a 17-year-old girl in Washington State, a 19-year-old boy in Illinois and an 18-year-old teen in Iowa.iii
In 2010, over 2,900 phone calls related to synthetic marijuana consumption were made to poison control centers throughout the country – the number of calls jumped to over 5,700 in 2011.iv
“Last year, three young adults in Rockland County were taken to the hospital after having severe reactions to these drugs,” Assemblyman Zebrowski said. “This is an unfortunate and dangerous reality that I am confronting head on. We need to take action now, so our children are spared and our community stays safe.”