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Gov. Cuomo Approves Changes to Synthetic Pot Laws

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With police seeing a resurgence in synthetic marijuana overdoses, Governor Cuomo has proposed stronger regulations to combat the sale of synthetic pot.

From April 1st to June 30th, New York State saw more than 1,900 emergency room visits and more than 680 calls to the poison control center due synthetic marijuana. The uptick represents a more than a tenfold increase over the same time period in 2014.

Since 2012, the producers of synthetic marijuana have been attempting to skirt New York’s strict regulations by developing new chemicals not specifically identified in the existing regulations.

Cuomo has proposed new regulations that add two additional classes of compounds to the banned substances list.

Synthetic cannabinoids are marketed as legal and typically consist of plant material coated by chemicals which are supposed to mimic THC, which is the active chemical compound in marijuana.

Side effects often include psychosis and erratic, potentially harmful behaviors. Those who use the chemical concoctions can hurt themselves or others while under the influence. And there have been reports of users jumping out of windows while using the drug.

The expanded regulations take effect as soon as the State Public Health and Health Planning Council review the new rules and file them with the Department of State.

Selling or possessing the drug carries a fine up to $500 and/or up to 15 days in jail.

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