Senator Schumer says it's cheap, dangerous, legal and easy for teens to get. Synthetic marijuana is being sold at stores around Syracuse and Central New York. Senator Schumer doesn't think it should be and he's pushing legislation that would make it illegal.
On Thursday, Schumer made that case in Syracuse. The products go by the name "Legal Phunk" and "Spice". Schumer says producers have tried to evade drug enforcement agency bans by slightly altering the chemical compound of their products and re-packaging them. Under the proposed legislation, chemical combinations that could produce similar products of marijuana would be banned.
Schumer says synthetic pot can lead to seizures , panic attacks even dangerous and erratic behavior.
"Powdered cocaine wouldn't be legal just because you stamped powdered sugar on the bag," Schumer (D) said. "Synthetic Marijuana shouldn't be legal just because it's masqueraded as Legal Funk or Potpourri or K2."
Schumer says synthetic marijuana is marketed to teenagers and costs less than twenty dollars. He says it's been linked to two deaths in Onondaga County. Schumer says the legislation he is pushing has bi-partisan support but it's being held up by Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, who he called a "pure libertarian." We tried called Senator Paul's office to get a response but have not heard back.
There is a new push to keep synthetic marijuana and drug-like products out of the hands of children. Senator Charles Schumer (D, New York) is pushing to make them illegal.
Schumer says stores surrounding the Syracuse University campus are openly selling dangerous knock-off drugs like "Legal Phunk" and "Spice." He says these substances can lead to seizures, hallucinations, high blood pressure, rapid heart rate and panic attacks as well as dangerous and erratic behavior.
Schumer will be in Syracuse this afternoon, calling on lawmakers to make synthetic pot illegal. He says producers of the products have tried to evade Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) bans by slightly altering the chemical compound of their products and repackaging them.
According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, alternative drugs sold legally in head shops is a growing problem. The organization says thousands of people get sick from the drugs each year.
Doctors say the synthetic drugs often don't show up on conventional drug tests, but they can produce an extreme high. They're also often laced with chemical compounds that can be up to 10 times more potent than marijuana.
Schumer will be at the Onondaga County Courthouse at 12:45 p.m. today to push for the legislation to make synthetic marijuana illegal.