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Griffo Going After “Lex Luthors Of Chemistry” In Bath Salts Bill

Jeanette Lenoir, WIBX

Utica, NY (WIBX) - State officials say they’re going after the “Lex Luthors of Chemistry” with a new measure that aims to give the current law–criminalizing the sale of bath salts–teeth.Senator Joseph Griffo, who has taken on the bath salts fight head-on, is calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo and other state lawmakers to amend last years bill, S.B. 2233B, by adding more chemicals on the list of illegal components found to be active ingredients in the drug. The bill only criminalizes 2 known chemicals found in bath salts.

At a press conference at the Utica State Office Building, the state senator says his aim is to try and stay a step ahead of those attempting to “outsmart” state and federal regulators by tweaking the chemical structures. “There are numerous similar compounds and by making minor alterations to the chemical structure of these substances, there can be a number of variations that increase exponentially and so, as a result of that, we need to stay a head of the game. So, where do we go from here? I want to  close the loopholes. That’s what this is all about–What do we do to avoid these chemist from trying to tweak their compounds and as a result to get around the law … These guys have become the Lex Luthor’s of chemistry and we need to put them out of business,” he said.

Griffo’s proposal will give law enforcement authority to prosecute those accused of: Possession, Sale or Use of any of the known chemicals in bath salts, by making it a Misdemeanor or Felony offense. Oneida County District Attorney, Scott McNamara says law enforcement’s hands are tied unless the law is amended. He said, “They don’t put cocaine and heroine, or any other type of illegal drugs that we currently prosecute. What they do is, they mix a bunch of chemicals that ultimately affect people, but those chemicals in themselves are not illegal, and when the laws change to add a new chemical that’s illegal, than they take it out and found something else to put it. So, the problem that we’re having is every time the government move to make something illegal, they just move with it.”

Griffo says his goal is to attack the bizarre bath salts problems plaguing the area comprehensively, and is calling on other state officials to consider adding his amendment proposal on the special session’s agenda later this summer. President Obama is expected to approve a federal law today, banning 28 bath salts chemicals. The provision is part of the FDA bill.

Jeanette Lenoir, WIBX

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