Assemblyman Will Barclay (R,C,I—Pulaski) launched an online petition today in support of legislation that would ban the sale and use of synthetic marijuana.
Marketed and sold as incense, synthetic marijuana can be purchased in convenience stores and places that sell smoke accessories under names such as “Spice” or “Happy Shaman.” When smoked, this synthetic variety can produce extreme paranoia, hypertension, hallucinations and suicidal thoughts. As with other controlled substances, those with any underlying health problems are at a greater risk and users may not know if they have any other health problems, such as a heart condition, until it is too late.
“Too many of our young people are being exposed to these drugs and falling ill. I’ve heard from a number of constituents, who are concerned about their kids. Emergency room visits are up, poison control workers report increased instances of this type of poisoning, and school officials are trying to find ways to get this away from kids who have legal access to it,” said Barclay.
“Parents in this region and in other parts of the state have contacted my office, asking for help because their kids are using these products and are at risk. I am hopeful we can pass this measure in the Assembly to help make our communities safer and keep these products away from our kids,” said Barclay.
Last spring, the Oswego County Legislature passed a resolution urging the state to outlaw these drugs. Synthetic marijuana has been featured in the national news and has been the topic of popular TV programs such as Dr. Phil. Military officials report U.S. troops are increasingly using "Spice."
This week, the Center for Substance Abuse Research at the University of Maryland reported that one in nine U.S. high school seniors report using synthetic marijuana in the past year. The Office of National Drug Control Policy reports this as a “rapidly emerging threat.”
To sign the petition and join the fight against synthetic marijuana, visit www.assembly.state.us/barclay and click on the link that says “Join in the Fight Against Synthetic Drugs.”