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Bipartisan Bill Aims For Tougher Stance On “Bath Salts”

David McNew, Getty Images

Utica, NY (WIBX) - New legislation coming from a bipartisan group of lawmakers, promises to reduce the rising use of a drug commonly known as “bath salts.” State Senator Joseph Griffo, who is spearheading the efforts, says the new bill aims to restrict the sale and use of these types of hallucinogenic drugs in the Empire State.

He says the collaborative efforts are in response an escalation of “bath salts” use in Central New York. Also, he adds that the partnership will help move the bill through both chambers when lawmakers return to Albany. Griffo says despite Governor Cuomo signing a 2011 law banning the drug, additional measures are needed to reduce a dramatic upsurge in its use, which violent and bizarre behavior of individuals have been reported. The bill is supported by Assemblyman Anthony J. Brindisi, (D-Utica) and Assemblyman Edward C. Braunstein (D-Bayside).

In a released statement Braunstein said, “Between the time we developed last year’s legislation and this summer, we have seen an explosion of synthetic drugs that are causing serious law enforcement, health and mental health problems for communities and families across New York State. Our goal with this new legislation is to respond to the concerns addressed to us by law enforcement and develop a bill that will give them the tools needed to crack down harder in order to end the widespread misuse of these drugs.”

According to Griffo, The Upstate New York Poison Center has received 198 cases of incidents related to “bath salts” in 2012.  Oneida County has 36 reported cases in 2012 . Griffo said, “These so-called ‘bath salts’ are not the same as aromatic bath salts. They contain a potentially lethal mix of synthetic drugs and serve no purpose other than to get the user high. My legislation sought to ban these dangerous substances so we may help keep our young people safe and give our law enforcement the authority to rid our State of these dangerous drugs. What we are finding since the law took effect is that more action is needed because of the incidents taking place across Central New York.”

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