NY Health Commissioner Bans Synthetic Marijuana

Congratulations to NY Health Commissioner Nirav Shah for banning synthetic marijuana in the state of New York. This is the order he issued.

This is an action that should help protect the health of all New Yorkers–users and non-users alike.

This drug is not only dangerous to those who smoke it, it is also dangerous to innocent bystanders, first responders, and health professionals.

The combination of psychosis, agitation, and the temporary inability to feel pain are a recipe for danger.

Now, we call for the citizens of NY to keep an eye out for stores who are ignoring this ban.

We must work together to protect our communities from this dangerous substance.

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NY bans sale of synthetic marijuana; cites health

Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. — New York state has banned the sale of “synthetic marijuana” that’s sold in convenience stores, smoke shops, and tobacco stores under brand names including “Spice”, “K2” and “Mr. Nice Guy.”

The products produces a high when smoked and have been linked to severe adverse reactions including death and acute renal failure. In announcing the ban, Health Commissioner Nirav Shah said they also commonly cause increased heart rates, paranoid behavior, agitation, and nausea, among other symptoms.

Continue reading

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Chase’s Law Signed by Georgia’s Governor Deal

We are pleased that the Georgia Legislature, Governor Deal, and a dedicated group of High School Students worked together to see that Chase’s Law was passed and signed in Georgia yesterday.

It is sad that the death of a fine young man was the cost of this bill, but we are hopeful that this law will be the first step in outlawing synthetic marijuana from Georgia’s retail stores.

Unfortunately, this will not be the last word.  As we have seen in Illinois, retailers will continue to try to skirt this law by introducing compounds that have a chemical composition that has been slightly altered from those in the law, and law enforcement will face the inability to distinguish legal from illegal compounds once more.

We call for vigilance in Georgia.  We must continue to protect our citizens by working together with a thousand eyes and ears to make sure this drug does not find its way into Georgia once more.  We also call upon the legislature to review this law on a regular basis, with the aid of law enforcement, to make sure it is effective.

We must insure that it is not just the end user, but also the sellers of these drugs that are prosecuted.

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Gov. Deal outlaws synthetic marijuana

2:11 PM, Mar 27, 2012   |   1  comments
 Written by Beth Sawicki

ATLANTA — Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed a bill Tuesday that outlaws all forms of synthetic marijuana in the state.

Synthetic marijuana is made by mixing marijuana-like compounds with different dried plants. The substance is legal and is sold in gas stations throughout Georgia.

The new legislation, SB 370, was named Chase’s Law in honor of Chase Corbitt Burnett, a 16-year-old honor student and soccer player at McIntosh High School in Peachtree City. Chase passed away in his parents’ home after smoking synthetic marijuana.

Chase’s parents attended the bill signing, as did Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, House Speaker David Ralston and Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Vernon Keenan.

“These synthetic substances pose an enormous risk to our public safety,” Gov. Deal said in a statement. “As the usage has dramatically increased, instances of violence, bodily harm and even death have risen with it. I applaud the GBI and the General Assembly for their fast work on this legislation, which addresses a pressing need.”

According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, there were nearly 7,000 calls nationwide related to adverse effects associated with synthetic marijuana in 2011. Doctors have determined that it can cause psychosis and increase the tendency of violence.

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Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department Sends Enforcement Notification Letters to Businesses about Florida’s New Law, but Lets Distribution Continue?

Well, we have good news and bad news about Hillsborough County, Florida today.

The good news is that the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office will be enforcing Florida’s new synthetic marijuana law, which was signed into law on Friday.  They distributed warning letters to businesses in Hillsborough County in anticipation of the expanded Florida law 893.0356.

WTSP reported on the delivery of those letters.

The bad news is that when the ABC I-Team in Tampa, FL investigated what was going on in Hillsborough County, they found that synthetic marijuana was being distributed freely:

The I-Team has uncovered not only is Spice readily available, but we’ve discovered companies right here in Tampa are distributing thousands of pounds of it.

One location is Baba Wholesale at 4402 East 10th Avenue.

The I-Team has obtained Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department intelligence reports showing shipments to the warehouse on different dates of 520, 534, and 1100 pounds of a “green leafy substance” “that smelled like marijuana.”

Because it tested negative for THC, the active ingredient in real marijuana, the Sheriff’s Department released it for delivery.

 Of course we already knew there was a problem in Hillsborough County, Florida.

One of our volunteers wondered, “Why were the kids in Polk County arrested for USING synthetic marijuana , but the shop owners, who are no better than DRUG DEALERS, were allowed to go free?” Continue reading

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NY: Three Upstate Deaths Lead to Health Department Warning

Our Sympathies go out to the families of the three men who died so tragically.

Synthetic Marijuana is one of the most dangerous drugs out there, and we are preparing ourselves to hear about many more deaths, organ failures, and psychotic behavior as police, coroners, doctors, and the public become more aware of the dangers of synthetic marijuana.

We applaud the State of New York for taking some important steps toward the eradication of Synthetic Marijuana and other synthetic drugs from store shelves, and we hope the added attention being paid to these tragedy will help spread the word that fake weed is an extremely dangerous and unpredictable substance.

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Officials say three Upstate deaths associated with legal synthetic marijuana

Published: Monday, March 26, 2012, 12:47 PM     Updated: Monday, March 26, 2012, 2:33 PM
 Health Commissioner Warning on Poisoned Pot
Syracuse, NY – Three deaths in Upstate New York, including two investigated by the Onondaga County Medical Examiner’s Office, have been associated with legal synthetic marijuana that is 20 times more potent than regular marijuana, health care providers said today.

Speaking this morning at the Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital, health care officials used the words, “alarming” and “dangerous,” to describe the growing use of synthetic marijuana.

Legislation is pending at the federal level to ban the product, but officials urged store owners to stop selling synthetic marijuana now.

“You may have the right to do so (sell it) right now, but do the right thing. Take them off the shelves,” said Onondaga County Health Commissioner Cynthia Morrow. “They have no place in our community.” Continue reading

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NY Top Doc Warns About Synthetic Marijuana

We are so grateful that the New York Daily News is taking an interest in the topic of synthetic marijuana, and that some of the national attention may help stop the spread of this poison.

Even if people are warned about its dangers, they still have no idea what they are getting into when they pick up a package of fake weed.

Many think that these health warnings are fake, or that they are issued by people who just want to “regulate everything.” Nothing could be further from the truth.

These are poisons, sold in grocery stores and tobacco shops.  They are deadly.

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New York’s top doctor issues public health alert over synthetic marijuana

Exclusive: Health Commissioner Dr. Nirav Shah sounds alarm after Daily News report

BY  / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Friday, March 23, 2012, 5:00 AM
Synthetic marijuana (also referred to as pot) photographed in the studio at the Daily News on March 21, 2012.  New York’s health commissioner, Dr. Nirav Shah, issued a rare public health threat about the dangers posed by synthetic marijuana.

New York’s top doctor issued a rare public health alert Thursday, warning health professionals across the state to be on the look out for “the emerging threat” posed by synthetic marijuana.

Health Commissioner Dr. Nirav Shah sent up the alarm two days after a Daily News investigation into the dangers of the legal but potentially lethal concoction sold under the guise of incense and potpourri.

“Calls to New York State Poison Control Centers have increased dramatically in 2012 and severe side effects including death, acute renal failure as well as significant negative effects to the cardiovascular and central nervous systems have been linked to the use of these products,” the commissioner said in the two-page warning. Continue reading

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Karen Dobner Blasts Rand Paul

Good for you, Karen!  Someone has to hold this man accountable for holding up the legislation that would protect our children from this poison.

By the way, despite what Senator Rand Paul says, there is NOTHING in the legislation that would keep someone in jail for 20 years.  Look at the legislation and see if you can find his objection.  It just doesn’t exist.

Rand Paul is stalling this, kids are dying.

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Mother of teen killed after smoking synthetic marijuana says Sen. Rand Paul has ‘blood on his hands’

Karen Dobner begged Paul to let ban of fake pot to come up for a vote, but never got a call back

BY  / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS  Published: Friday, March 23, 2012
	Karen Dobner, whose son Max was killed after smoking synthetic marijuana, says Sen. Rand Paul (R.-Ky.) has 'blood on his hands'  for holding up a bill that would ban fake pot.

Karen Dobner, whose son Max was killed after smoking synthetic marijuana, says Sen. Rand Paul (R.-Ky.) has ‘blood on his hands’  for holding up a bill that would ban fake pot.

The grieving mother of a teenager who was killed after smoking synthetic marijuana is filled with fury at the lone U.S. senator blocking a ban on the dangerous drug.

Karen Dobner told the Daily News she’s called Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) 15 times to tell him about her son Max’s death last year — and to beg him to let the ban come up for a vote. She never got a call back.
“He’s got blood on his hands,” Dobner said. Continue reading
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Recognizing the Signs of Synthetic Marijuana Use

Synthetic Marijuana use is rising, but very little has been written about how to recognize the signs.

Please keep in mind that these unregulated and dangerous drugs vary widely in their chemical makeup and their potency–not only from brand to brand, but from packet to packet.  Someone who has been using these drugs without dangerous side effects can, suddenly, stumble upon a package that causes seizures, organ failure, heart attack, or worse.

In addition, each person is different.  Someone who has been using for a long time may react differently to the drug than someone not accustomed to drug use.  Finally, makers of synthetic drugs change the chemicals they are using without notice and packages are not labeled with ingredients.

Most Common Symptoms

  • Vomiting  — usually vomiting occurs for a prolonged period of time, not just once.
  • Pale — users are often described as “pasty” in their appearance.
  • Extreme agitation — pacing, yelling, inability to get comfortable in any position.
  • Sweating and chills — they will complain they are hot, then cold.
  • Shaking — sometimes caused by chills, sometimes caused by involuntary muscle movement and cramping.
  • Speech impairment — many users are incapable of communicating clearly or at all.
  • Hallucinations — users may not recognize members of their own family, they may believe they are someone else, etc.
  • Paranoia — users may believe those around them intend them harm.  This is a dangerous situation.
  • Inability to Feel Pain – This may impair attempts to subdue users.
  • Panic Attack — rapid breathing, pulse, terrified or confused look, screaming or “freaking out.”
  • Feeling of Impending Doom — they may feel that they or everyone is about to die.
  • Heart palpitations — rapid heart rate can bring on a heart attack, even in healthy teens.
  • Body Temperature Fluctuation — this is extremely dangerous.  Their temperatures can rise suddenly and dangerously, then drop.
  • Severe stomach or back pain — this may indicate organ failure.  Kidneys can shut down, requiring immediate medical attention.
  • Suicidal/Homicidal Thoughts — they may speak freely about wanting, needing to kill themselves or others. Continue reading
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17-Year Old, High on Synthetic Pot, Kills Girl. Everyone but the Drug Dealers are Victims.

Our sincere condolences go out to the family of Jasmyn Tully, to the 17 year-old boy who stabbed her, and to his family. They are all victims of this terrible poison.

Homicidal and Suicidal thoughts are very common symptoms of synthetic marijuana. Psychosis, inability to feel pain, and paranoia are additional reasons why this is so incredibly dangerous to the user, to innocent bystanders, and to the law enforcement community.

It is time for everyone to stop pretending that this is some small problem that will fade.  We all must take it upon ourselves to rid our communities of this dangerous substance.

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 Teen killed 17-year-old Jasmyn Tully because he ‘felt an urge to hurt someone’: authorities

Investigators looking into claims suspect was high on K2, a.k.a., Spice

BY  / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS – Tuesday, March 20, 2012, 2:51 PM

Jasmyn Tully, 17, was allegedly stabbed to death by a 17-year-old male high on synthetic marijuana.

A teen stabbing suspect who allegedly killed a sleeping 17-year-old Washington girl because he “felt an urge to hurt someone” will be charged with second degree murder, prosecutors said Tuesday.

The 17-year-old male was out of his mind after smoking a large amount of synthetic marijuana and even tried to take his own life, his distraught uncle told local media.

The formal filing, expected later today or Wednesday, means the suspect will face trial as an adult and a maximum of 20 years in prison if convicted of the murder charge and a deadly weapon enhancement, authorities said. Continue reading

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ER Doctors Don’t Recognize Synthetic Marijuana Use

We have known this for a long time.  Not only do ERs not know how to recognize signs of fake marijuana, they also don’t know what to do in the case of a patient who has ingested fake marijuana.

We have heard of many cases where parents have rushed their psychotic teens to the ER only to find the doctors and nurses treating the teen as if he or she is high on regular marijuana rather than a dangerous synthetic drug that can cause paranoid delusions, psychosis, a temporary inability to feel pain, feelings of impending doom, and thoughts of suicide/homicide.

This is a dangerous situation that must be handled in a very serious way.  Psychosis is not the only problem.

We already know of organ failure, heart attacks, and the inability for the body to maintain a constant temperature.  These are serious medical problems that require much more than a sedative and release into the custody of their parents.

Synthetic drug users need carefully monitored detoxification.

In one case we are aware of, the teen was sent home from the hospital  even though the parent pleaded for the hospital to hold him for observation.  That teen killed himself at the foot of his father’s bed.

This is a national drug emergency, and first responders, ER personnel, and insurance companies must take emergency action to prevent further deaths from this drug.

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ER docs don’t recognize signs of fake marijuana in teens

By Michelle Healy, USA TODAY
As use of synthetic versions of marijuana such as “K2,” “Spice,” and “Blaze” becomes more common, a growing number of teens are showing up in hospital emergency rooms where physicians are unfamiliar with symptoms caused by the dangerous substances, says a new report.

A blend of plant and herbal materials that have been sprayed with chemicals, synthetic marijuana “is still a relatively new drug, and when we started seeing cases, we realized there was very little information available in the medical literature,” says Joanna Cohen, an emergency medicine physician at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and lead author of the report, published today in Pediatrics.

The three case studies of teens and young adults highlight “telltale signs” of synthetic marijuana abuse. These include excessive sweating, agitation, inability to speak, aggression and restlessness, in addition to the “euphoric and psychoactive effects” commonly associated with marijuana use. Continue reading

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Daughter Claims Synthetic Marijuana Killed her Mother

This is an incredible tragedy.

Another death.  Another grieving family.  Another beautiful life cut short because of synthetic marijuana.

We would like to offer our sincere condolences to Kathleen Gaspar’s family, and pray that justice will be done.

Thank you, Shannon Sheehan, for coming forward, for sharing your story, and for helping us to fight synthetic marijuana.

Your courage and inspiration may have already saved lives.

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Fake pot, real risks: Daughter blames synthetic drugs for mother’s death

03/16/2012, 7:53 pm

Steve Stout, steves@mywebtimes.com, 815-431-4082


Following a family tragedy last fall, Shannon Sheehan of Ottawa is on a crusade.

“My mother, Kathleen Gaspar, died last September following a fall inside her Marseilles home,” said Sheehan. “And, although her death certificate says she died of massive head injuries, I am sure it was fake, synthetic pot that took her life.”

Sheehan, 31, a mother of two, wants to spread the word about the “little known dangers of synthetic pot and other drugs” gaining popularity across the state and nation.

Holding a photograph of her mother, 53, Sheehan explained it is her belief her mother smoked synthetic marijuana purchased from a local convenience store, became disoriented (“possibly delusional”) and stumbled around into walls and furniture around the house before finally falling, fatally striking her head. Continue reading

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