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NY Expands Synthetic Marijuana Ban To Keep Up With New Forms

New York has broadened a ban on synthetic marijuana to keep up with drug makers who create new chemical recipes to evade the existing law.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says Thursday that the state health department has approved tougher regulations to include new compounds of synthetic pot. While the drugs were first created to mimic the effects of marijuana, their chemical makeup is far different, and new formulations have been created by chemists looking to evade a 2012 ban.

Adverse effects from synthetic marijuana abuse prompted more than 2,300 emergency room visits in the state between early June and Aug. 1. That's 10 times more than the same period last summer.

The governor says the state will continue to monitor evolving chemical formulas and will ban more compounds if necessary.

© 2015 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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