State moves against synthetic marijuana

Mar 30, 2012

With "synthetic pot" being seen as an increasing health problem among young people, Albany yesterday barred sale of the material and is working on making its sale a crime.

The fake pot is made in China using a constantly shifting array of chemicals sprayed on a variety of vegetation and then put into brightly labeled bags aimed at young people.

Just about everyone between 12 and 20 entering a local drug and alcohol treatment center has used the material.

Erie County Health Commissioner Doctor Gale Burstein says the material is hugely popular and hugely dangerous.

"Very fast heart rate, paranoid behavior, agitation," are among the more moderate side effects, but Burstein warns "they can also cause renal failure and even death."            

Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard says his deputies are seeing more and more of the material.