FINCH LEADING THE FIGHT AGAINST DANGEROUS SYNTHETIC MARIJUANA
Assemblyman Gary D. Finch (R,C,I – Springport) is joining his colleagues in the fight against synthetic cannabinoids, a dangerous drug that has emerged to pose a serious threat to the public health. These drugs are marked as “legal” and consist of plant material coated by chemicals which mimic THC, the active principle of marijuana.
The issue was brought to Assemblyman Finch’s attention by Joseph Leogrande, member of the Auburn school board. Mr. Leogrande has spearheaded the effort to fight these dangerous substances and has contacted the Department of Health in order to move forward with the issue. The drugs have become a serious issue for Auburn and the surrounding areas, and thanks to Mr. Leogrande’s efforts to make the public aware of the issue, Assemblyman Finch is working with his colleagues to rectify the issue.
As a result, Assemblyman Finch has signed on to legislation calling for an immediate prohibition on the sale and distribution of synthetic marijuana. While the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has issued a final order to place these synthetic cannabinoids into Schedule I of the Controlled Substance Act (CSA), the Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement is also strongly in support of legislation to ban these substances in New York.
According to the New York State Department of Health, calls to New York State Poison Control Centers have increased significantly this year, and severe side effects, including death, acute renal failure, as well as other significant negative effects to the cardiovascular and central nervous systems have been linked to use of these products. Furthermore, these products do not show up on a urine drug screen as THC.
“I’d like to thank Mr. Leogrande for all of his hard work in combating this dangerous drug, as it poses a serious threat to the health of so many. In the near term, synthetic cannabinoids will be made illegal and we will be able to move forward in keeping these drugs off of our streets and away from impressionable youths who may be tempted to experiment with them. The fact that synthetic cannabinoids are legal does not in any way make them safe or any less hazardous to one’s health,” said Finch.