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Flanagan Calls for Tougher Ban on Designer Drugs

Bill would make it a felony to sell or possess bath salts or synthetic marijuana.

Sen. John Flanagan, R-East Northport, is supporting a bill that would make it a felony to sell or possess synthetic marijuana or bath salts. The bill comes in the wake of recent gruesome incidents allegedly involving the drugs in multiple states including a June 14 incident in which an upstate New York woman reportedly beat her toddler after ingesting bath salts.

"Bath salts" is a powder which is being snorted and smoked to produce a cocaine or meth-like high with extreme paranoia and violent behavior. It has taken center stage in the media since the May "Miami Zombie" attack in which a man stripped naked and attacked a homeless man under an overpass, ripping off most of his face with his teeth. The drug was implicated in the incident though its presence has not yet been confirmed in toxiciology reports, according to the Huffington Post.

The Senate has already passed legislation, sponsored by Senators Flanagan and Senator Joseph Griffo (R, I, C-Rome), who are now calling on the Assembly to pass tough legislation that would criminalize the sale and possession of bath salts and synthetic marijuana. The penalties would be similar to those for marijuana and methamphetamines, respectively. Sale of these substances to a minor, or on or near school grounds, would constitute a class B felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison.

“We need to go beyond the ban of selling these ‘legal’ drugs and actually place strong criminal penalties on the sale or possession of synthetic marijuana and bath salts,” Senator Flanagan said. “The impact of these drugs is simply devastating. The Senate passed a strong bill and it should be voted on in the Assembly. We owe it to the children of our state and their parents to make sure that we get this legislation enacted this year.”

The legislation is sponsored in the Assembly by Assemblyman Cusick (D-Mid-Island), but has not been acted on. Instead, the Assembly approved a bill that would make the sale or possession of bath salts or synthetic marijuana a misdemeanor. 

Do you think tougher laws or penalties are required for bath salts or synthetic marijuana? Do you think they should be banned at all? Tell us in the comments below and take our poll.

JOHN TAMBURRO June 18, 2012 at 06:23 PM
MAYBE THESE FOLKS SCHOULD TRY TO BECOME BETTER PARENTS
Leah Bush June 18, 2012 at 06:46 PM
I can't imagine why someone would want to use bath salts after all the reports of extreme paranoia, terror, and dissociative hallucinations. I wouldn't even take a bath with it.
karen from East Northport June 19, 2012 at 10:42 AM
A Federal Law should also be put into place. And, it's my understanding that most bath salts are imported. Again. federal law to stop this.
michelle s June 19, 2012 at 01:50 PM
Bath salts are sold disguised as a harmless substance used for relaxation, but people are ingesting them seeking euphoria. In addition to experiencing altered moods, many bath salt users are having psychotic episodes marked with agitation, hallucinations and violent behavior. Bath Salts have dangerous consequences as we see in the news events of the United States. Learn more and see what they look like. I came across a picture of them here http://www.lakeviewhealth.com/bath-salts-infographic.php
HeyJoe August 08, 2012 at 04:25 AM
Flanagan and fitzpatrick, two big government republicans.

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