Sen. John Flanagan, R-East Northport, is supporting a bill that would make it a felony to sell or possess synthetic marijuana or bath salts. The bill comes in the wake of recent gruesome incidents allegedly involving the drugs in multiple states including a June 14 incident in which an upstate New York woman reportedly beat her toddler after ingesting bath salts.
"Bath salts" is a powder which is being snorted and smoked to produce a cocaine or meth-like high with extreme paranoia and violent behavior. It has taken center stage in the media since the May "Miami Zombie" attack in which a man stripped naked and attacked a homeless man under an overpass, ripping off most of his face with his teeth. The drug was implicated in the incident though its presence has not yet been confirmed in toxiciology reports, according to the Huffington Post.
The Senate has already passed legislation, sponsored by Senators Flanagan and Senator Joseph Griffo (R, I, C-Rome), who are now calling on the Assembly to pass tough legislation that would criminalize the sale and possession of bath salts and synthetic marijuana. The penalties would be similar to those for marijuana and methamphetamines, respectively. Sale of these substances to a minor, or on or near school grounds, would constitute a class B felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison.
“We need to go beyond the ban of selling these ‘legal’ drugs and actually place strong criminal penalties on the sale or possession of synthetic marijuana and bath salts,” Senator Flanagan said. “The impact of these drugs is simply devastating. The Senate passed a strong bill and it should be voted on in the Assembly. We owe it to the children of our state and their parents to make sure that we get this legislation enacted this year.”
The legislation is sponsored in the Assembly by Assemblyman Cusick (D-Mid-Island), but has not been acted on. Instead, the Assembly approved a bill that would make the sale or possession of bath salts or synthetic marijuana a misdemeanor.
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