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New York bans sale of synthetic marijuana

Health commissioner issues order

New York State Health Commissioner Nirav R. Shah, M.D., M.P.H. has issued an order of summary action banning the sale of synthetic marijuana products in New York State. These substances, generally referred to as “synthetic marijuana”, consist of plant material coated by chemicals that mimic THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

New York State Health Commissioner Nirav R. Shah, M.D., M.P.H. has issued an order of summary action banning the sale of synthetic marijuana products in New York State. These substances, generally referred to as “synthetic marijuana”, consist of plant material coated by chemicals that mimic THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

— “I think that this is a wonderful thing,” Karen Crowningshield, Assistant Nurse Manager at Elizabethtown Community Hospital, said. “It looks like the governor is taking steps to get something done immediately through the Health Department.”

The order calls for sales and distribution to stop immediately. Local health officials are being ordered to check for compliance. Violators can face civil penalties.

Synthetic marijuana has been a topic in the North Country for a number of months, and the Essex County BEST committee recently held a meeting to talk about the product and its effects.

“The ultimate goal is to come up with an organizational action plan that we can all get behind and work together to solve this problem,” Michael Mascarenas, of the Essex County Youth Bureau, said. “We want to make this an united effort and attack this together.”

“I can do whatever I want on behalf of my kids, and I want this out so my daughter can’t get it there,” Elizabethtown Community Center Director Arin Burdo said.

Sprague said that they plan to continue to spend time in local schools offering a presentation created by Elizabethtown-Lewis junior Brody Hooper, and a walk has been planned for April 30 at 11:30 a.m. at the Essex County Government Center in Elizabethtown to help raise awareness for the need to ban the product.

“Maybe we will be having a celebratory walk to applaud our state legislators for making synthetic marijuana illegal,” Sprague said. “That would be a great outcome for a small county who took big steps to push for this legislation.”

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