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      "Be Safe" initiative to warn kids about the dangers of synthetic drugs

      "Be Safe" initiative announced

      Members of the Onondaga County Legislature and local health experts announced plans for a "Be Safe" initiative on Thursday morning.

      They are hoping to have educators go into local schools this fall to talk with kids about the dangerous realities of bath salts and other drugs. Health experts say many children don't realize just how dangerous synthetic drugs are.

      Republican Patrick Kilmartin said the county needs to do something to educate children about the dangers, especially since many synthetic drugs are marketed towards them.

      "The manufacturers of these products, they are specifically targeting young people and children. They're using catchy phrases to title these products, they're using fancy marketing, they're using colorful packaging," said Kilmartin.

      Kilmartin hopes to introduce the legislation supporting "Be Safe" in the Onondaga County Legislature on August 7.

      The Syracuse Common Council will vote Monday on a law that would ban the sale or possession of "bath salts" and other synthetic drugs. A law banning synthetic drugs will also been proposed in the Onondaga County Legislature.

      Onondaga County Legislature chairman Ryan McMahon said he sees the bill as a stopgap measure until more state and federal laws can be enacted that can keep up with the rapidly changing chemical compounds in synthetic drugs.

      On Wednesday, coordinated raids of head shops took place across Central New York as law enforcement looked for synthetic drugs related to a network of synthetic drug distributors across the nation.Senator Charles Schumer commented on the DEA raids that took place in 90 cities across the county on Wednesday that targeted distributors and manufacturers of bath salts and synthetic marijuana. Schumer says the raids were made possible in part due to the passage of his legislation.

      â??This is now law. If local retailers and manufacturers think that they can still get away with business as usual, and continue to sell and produce these synthetic poisons, then yesterdayâ??s DEA raids should be a lesson to them,â?? said Schumer in a release. â??I urge the DEA to continue such raids until these horrible and debilitating drugs are no longer sold anywhere in America.â??