A State Supreme Court Judge issued a temporary injunction against synthetic drugs sold at the Twisted Headz store in Syracuse Wednesday.
Lawyers for State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman were at the State Supreme Court in Syracuse Wednesday morning, arguing that head shops may be violating the state's labeling laws and selling designer drugs like bath salts.
The Attorney General has found a new way to crack down on synthetic drugs by going after their packaging. In State Supreme Court in Syracuse on Wednesday, Judith Malkin from the Attorney General's Syracuse office argued that many products don't list the ingredients, potential health risks or even the manufacturer.
"The problem with the products is that we have no idea what the contents are. these products are promoted to be designer drugs meant to be smoked, ingested and consumed," said Malkin.
State Supreme Court Judge Anthony Paris called synthetic drugs an immediate risk and granted a temporary restraining order that blocks their sale at the Twisted Headz store on North Salina Street. 12 other stores across New York were also issued temporary restraining orders on Wednesday. The attorney for Twisted Headz didn't understand why his client was singled out as the only Syracuse shop on the list.
"These products are being sold all over the place. Several other shops, gas stations, mini marts all over the state and he's saying 'Why is it me, Why am I being singled out?' but he's willing to comply," said attorney Patrick Haber.
Malkin said the Attorney General is going after the packaging of synthetic drugs since it is easy for distributors to slightly alter chemical compounds when one is banned by law.
The lawyer for Twisted Headz says the store has not sold the bath salts product that has been in the news. Malkin said it is possible the same chemicals in bath salts were in other synthetic products being sold at the store since the products are not clearly marked.
Schneiderman announced the lawsuits in Rochester, after an undercover investigation found employees at Look ah Hookah were illegally selling and promoting synthetic drugs.
An undercover video investigation found head shops were labeling the products with names like "MJ Blueberry Aromatic Potpourri," "Bizarro," "AMPED," "VOODOO" or "Cali Crunch." Some products had no label at all and most lacked comprehensive ingredient listings.
Rick White from Syracuse says he doesn't use the products since they are dangerous but believes people should be able to make their own decisions.
"I mean they tell you it's not to smoke. they tell you this stuff. It's supposed to be a little scent you put in a bowl. That's what this stuff is. If a person chooses to light it on fire and smoke it - that's his own right," said White on Wednesday.