NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - 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. Earlier this month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that the state health department had 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.
On Tuesday, the NYPD raided a stretch of 125th St. in East Harlem near the Metro-North Rail Road station where a horde of homeless had taken up residence. K2- which is popular among the homeless- has resulted in an increase in hospitalizations due to the affects of the drug.
A joint of K2 sells for about $1-$2.
NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito was expected to hold a news conference Thursday where she will release a report on the sale of K2 and other drugs on the Internet. Popular sites are used by sellers to tap into the NYC market.
The governor says the state will continue to monitor evolving chemical formulas and will ban more compounds if necessary.
With the Associated Press