Bath Salts

Daniel Robison / WBFO

The New York Department of Health issued new regulations Tuesday that stiffen penalties for the sale or possession of synthetic drugs.

Flanked by a prop sporting packets of synthetic drugs with names like “Snow Leopard,” “Zoom” and “Vanilla Sky,” Governor Andrew Cuomo deemed the substances “poison” during a Buffalo press conference.

WBFO News photo by Omar Fetouh

The state's top cop is cracking down on stores that sell dangerous designer drugs.  More than a dozen so-called "head shops" across New York, including one in Buffalo, are headed to court.

The sale of synthetic drugs in head shops has contributed to a public health crisis in New York and across the nation, according to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. The attorney general has filed lawsuits against 16 retailers for violating the state's labeling laws by selling designer drugs known as "bath salts" and "synthetic marijuana."