Government

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

She had file envy

Who says paperwork is not sexy?! This week, I was so impressed (and even charmed) by the paperwork and systems of two different women. I was even a little envious. In the first case, my client Lois in Ardsley decided that it was time to get her paperwork in order. After six years of shifting paperwork, a dysfunctional home office, an international move and the purchase of a new home, she had HAD ...

The Books That Got Me Through the Storm

It is almost unfathomable to me that we are out of power again. Weren’t we just recovering from the back-to-back nor’easters of March? Yikes! And while I am still out of power, I consider myself and my family to be fortunate; just a few houses from mine, and all over Westchester and Putnam counties, there are trees and wires down on roads, on cars, on homes and businesses. Indeed, we ...

Thrifting From the Couch

Now that I am confident that we have turned the corner on winter and the warm weather is here to stay, it is time to commit to that timeless ritual: change of season, change your closet. I actually like it, that chance to get reacquainted with my favorites and to question once again why some things were actually purchased in the first place. I am totally guilty of falling into that trap of loving ...

Veatch Fund to Award Six Student Scholarships

May 16, 2018

Six graduating seniors from local high schools will be awarded 2018 Justin Veatch Fund music scholarships in June. This year’s recipients are Chloe Collins of Calvert Academy, Justin Giacchetto of North Salem High School, Justin Hahn of Peekskill High School, Noah Mattison of Harrison High School, Alicia McMillan of The Ursuline School, and Chris Paraggio of Carmel High School.

The ...