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NY Moves To Broaden Synthetic Marijuana Ban

WAMC composite image by Dave Lucas

New York is moving to expand a ban on synthetic marijuana to keep with drug makers who create new chemical recipes to evade the existing law.  Governor Andrew Cuomo told the state's health department on Friday to broaden the regulations to outlaw new formulas.

While the drugs are created to mimic the effects of marijuana, their chemical makeup is quite different, and chemists have found ways to get around a 2012 ban by modifying their creations.

Cuomo's office says that in April, May and June there were more than 1,900 emergency room visits and more than 680 poison control center calls for bad reactions to synthetic marijuana in New York. That's more than ten times the number of ER visits and calls over the same period last year.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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