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Synthetic marijuana ban endorsed, now set for public vote

Warren County leaders made a variety of decisions at their recent monthly meeting, held at the county municipal center in Queensbury.

Warren County leaders made a variety of decisions at their recent monthly meeting, held at the county municipal center in Queensbury. Photo by Thom Randall.

— Synthetic marijuana is likely to be banned soon in Warren County, since the county Board of Supervisors passed a resolution April 20 endorsing a local law prohibiting the substance.

The vote set a public hearing on the proposed legislation for 10 a.m. May 18. County leaders have predicted it will be adopted on that date.

The proposed county law would prohibit the possession, use, sale or distribution of synthetic marijuana or so-called herbal incense — and provide for criminal charges against those violating the law.

Sold in stores under the trade names “Posh, “Wicked X,” and “K2,” the various synthetic marijuana substances — when ingested — are known to prompt violent, criminal behavior as well as psychotic reactions, hallucinations, and thoughts of suicide.

Although several weeks ago the state Health Department banned the sale of synthetic marijuana — which had until then been readily available — the possession and use of the substances continues to be legal.

At the April 20 board of supervisors meeting, county District Attorney Kate Hogan praised the fast action of the county board for moving forward on banning synthetic marijuana. Last month, a board committee endorsed the proposed ban just minutes after she told the board of how destructive it has been in the lives of many citizens locally as well as nationally. She noted that the supervisors’ quick action may have helped prompt the state to move forward on their partial ban.

“Warren County has shown more leadership than other counties on this issue,” she said, noting that other municipalities’ leaders around the state are now contacting Warren County for advice on enacting similar measures.

Hogan said that area school officials are now advocating for quick approval of a local law criminalizing the substances because more and more children are bringing it to school — a practice which threatens the health and welfare of children, she said.

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