Gov. Cuomo announces crackdown on synthetic drugs

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a new initiative to combat the illegal sale of K2 and other synthetic drugs.

According to the governor’s office, police across the state will increase enforcement and the State Liquor Authority and New York Gaming Commission will have the ability to revoke liquor and lottery licenses if stores are found illegally selling K2.

“The evolution of synthetic drugs is an alarming public health risk – but we are on the front lines of the battle,” Governor Cuomo said. “The state will continue to identify emerging compounds that put users in danger and aggressively chase down sellers of these toxic substances.”

Under current law, an owner of an establishment and anyone possessing, distributing, selling or offering synthetic drugs for sale could face a fine up to $500 and/or up to 15 days in jail. Civil penalties include a fine up to $2,000 per violation.

The governor’s office says synthetic cannabinoids are marketed as legal and often consist of plant materials coated by chemicals that are supposed to mimic THC, the active chemical in marijuana.

The drugs are often marketed as incense, herbal mixtures, or potpourri in order to mask their intended purpose. Street names for substances include Spice, K2, Green Giant, Smacked, Wicked X, AK-47, Geeked Up, Ninja, Caution, Red Giant, and Keisha Kole.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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