Community

Westchester Passes Law Banning Synthetic Drugs

44070b0eec44da795ab0_51153_.jpg
The synthetic marijuana drug Spice is among those banned under a new law passed in Westchester County. Credits: Photo courtesy of Lance Corporal Damany S. Coleman
44070b0eec44da795ab0_51153_.jpg
(NORTH SALEM, N.Y.)--Westchester County has approved a new law that bans the sale and possession of synthetic drugs in the county. The measure, passed by the Westchester County Board of Legislators on May 8, was signed into law by Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino on May 18. “Synthetic drugs are cheap, potent, available and even marketed as a safe alternative to drugs,” said Astorino. “We know these chemically concocted drugs pose a serious threat to our communities and that we must face this challenge head-on.” The law was sponsored by Legislators John Testa (R- Cortlandt, Peekskill, Yorktown) and David Tubiolo (R- Yonkers, Mount Vernon.) It passed by a unanimous 17-0 vote. The local law amends the county’s consumer protecton code to include a new category entitled “Synthetic Cannabinoids” which restricts the sale and possession of synthetic drugs, including synthetic marijuana products known on the street as K2 or Spice. Synthetic drugs are particularly dangerous because they are often marketed over-the-counter to teenagers and people living in poorer communities as tobacco, herbs, incense, spice and potpourri products. Yet it contains hallucinogenic chemicals, substances and agents that are made in laboratories to mimic the active ingredients of marijuana, cocaine, heroin and other drugs. Under the new law, those convicted of selling or possessing synthetic drugs would face a $500 fine for the first offense and $2,000 for the second. The law would be enforced through both local police and the county’s Department of Health. Both county and municipal law enforcement representatives voiced support for the law saying overdoses with synthetic pot were on the rise. They noted frequent interactions with individuals under the influence of synthetic marijuana who were “zombie-like,” irrational, violent or suicidal. Tubiolo, who chairs the Seniors and Constituencies Committee, which has oversight of the county’s Youth Bureau, commended the passage of the measure. “I am very pleased to be joined by my colleagues in passing this important piece of legislation,” Tubiolo said. “Synthetic marijuana is a serious and dangerous problem from both a public health and law enforcement perspective. We spent a lot of time in researching and writing this law to be sure that it would be an effective tool for law enforcement. I am hopeful that our work can serve as a template for local, regional and state governments to use in battling this critical problem.” Testa, co-sponsor of the measure, agreed. “I spent my professional career as a public high school teacher,” Testa said. “Kids tend to think they are invincible and some engage in risky behavior like experimenting with drugs. With synthetic marijuana, an individual can find themselves in a crisis situation the very first time they use these substances, even if they’ve used a very small amount.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

North Salem

Upcoming Events

Sat, January 27, 10:00 AM

Jefferson Valley Mall , Yorktown Heights

Yorktown Indoor Farmers Market

Food & Drink Health & Wellness

Wed, January 31

North Salem Tax Office, North Salem

North Salem School Taxes Second Half Due

Government

Sat, February 3, 10:00 AM

Jefferson Valley Mall , Yorktown Heights

Yorktown Indoor Farmers Market

Food & Drink Health & Wellness

Arctic Blast Purifies

Nothing like a bomb cyclone winter storm followed by days of bright sunshine while temperatures plunge into arctic cold to start the year off beautifully. 

The first day after the cyclone bomb I was out in the early morning watching to the east as dawn slid her rosy colored fingers upon the virgin snow. To the west, the near full-moon shone luminescent, still high in the lilac-gray sky a ...

For Journalists, Dangerous Days

I have recently learned that I am practicing a most dangerous profession, journalism, which took the lives of 81 reporters all over the world in 2017.

I learned about this danger to my life and health in an Associated Press News article printed in a small newspaper, The Monitor, which circulates in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas.

According to The Monitor’s annual “Kill ...

Timeless Holiday Tale

“A Newspaper Christmas,” by Herbert Geller, originally ran in our Dec. 22, 2016, edition. It’s a holiday favorite around here. Although it is a bit belated, we hope you enjoy it.

We were not Catholic or Protestant or anything but Jewish, but we always had a good time at Christmas. After all, who were the people who began to celebrate Christmas? They certainly were not ...

Time Management for Reaching New Year's Goals

As the year winds down just before New Year’s Eve, time seems to slow. Activities may be centered on the home and family and if you can plan it, you may have an hour or two to do some goal-setting for the year ahead. Judith, a colleague of mine, annually schedules a retreat on New Year’s weekend. It's great because it accomplishes two things: It allows her to measure where she has ...

Talkin' 'Bout Our Generations

People try to put us d-down (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)

Just because we get around (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)

Things they do look awful c-c-cold (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)

I hope I die before I get old (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)

—Peter Townshend (The Who)

I’ve become obsessed of late with generations. Well, what ...

A Post-Apocalyptic House Cleaning

I’m usually pretty good about keeping track of what’s in my fridge. But over the course of a few weeks, the food containers seem to multiply and take over. By the time I get around to realizing that some items have been in there too long, the contents of the containers way in the back of the refrigerator either look like a science experiment gone awry or a refrigerated toupee.

This ...

Speak Softly and Carry a Big Grudge

Contrary to what I generally tell people, the happiest moment of my life was not the day I got married, nor the final push when I gave birth to either of my two kids. It was the day a driver tailgated me relentlessly for five miles and then sped away… until he got pulled over by a state trooper.

Although I know it is better to forgive and forget, I am just not one of those people who is ...