Governor signs bill banning sale of "bath salts" in New York State
ALBANY, N.Y. - On Friday, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a law that bans certain substances dangerously marketed as "bath salts" from sale, manufacturing, possession, and distribution in New York state. Senator Joseph Griffo says he developed the bill with Assemblyman Edward C. Braunstein. "Deceptively labeled as 'bath salts' these dangerous products have become an alternative to methamphetamine use with disastrous results," Governor Cuomo said. "They are a growing danger to public health and today's signing to ban these products is a critical step towards ridding New York of these harmful drugs. I applaud Senator Griffo and Assemblyman Braunstein for working to pass this much-needed legislation." "These pseudo 'bath salts' are a dangerous series of chemicals that cause extreme paranoia, hallucinations, delusions, agitation, hypertension, chest pain, headache, and suicidal thoughts when smoked, snorted or injected," Griffo said. "I thank Governor Cuomo for signing my bill to take the type of state-level action that is needed to protect New Yorkers from dangerous and mislabeled products known as 'bath salts'. By signing this bill, Governor Cuomo has proven that our state government is serious about fighting drugs right here at home. This new law exposes the disguise and danger of these products and rightly bans them. The Governor's action in signing it shows that state government is responding to challenges and taking the necessary actions to protect the people of New York. I also want to thank Assemblyman Braunstein who worked with me to secure passage in the Assembly. It was good to work with him in this bipartisan effort to serve the people, and I appreciate his leadership in moving this bill through the Assembly." Griffo said that although these products are marketed as bath salts or, in some case, plant food, they contain chemicals that include 3,4-Methylenedioxymethcathinone (Methylone), 3,4- Methyenedixypyrovalerone (MDPV), 4Methymethcathinone (Mephedrone), 4- methoxymethcathinone, 4-Flurormethcathinone, 3-Fluoromethcathinone. These chemicals are not found in real bath salts that are not the target of Griffo's legislation. "Health professionals have agreed with my law, my fellow legislators have supported it and now the Governor has passed this very important measure to protect consumers from dangerous and mislabeled products," Griffo said. "This is a very narrowly constructed law that does not alter the sales of legitimate bath salts, but makes the chemicals in products wrongly labeled as bath salts controlled substances that will not be available." The legislation addresses products labeled as 'bath salts' being sold online and in small convenience stores and other retail outlets across the state. The compounds often contain a number of synthetic chemicals that function as a legal alternative to hallucinogenic drugs. Use of these products has resulted in violent reactions, often leading to hospitalizations and sometimes death. This law adds the synthetic drugs - methylenedioxypyrovalerone, also known as MDPV, and Methoxymethcathinone, also known as Medphedrone, to the Schedule I list of controlled substances, banning the use, sale, distribution and manufacturing of products that contain at least one of these compounds. "Governor Cuomo is doing the right thing in stopping the sale and distribution of fake bath salts which are extremely hazardous to consumers who purchase them for illegal drug use," said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. "As I have said before, these dangerous substances have been abused and have caused serious health problems and sometimes death. This new law will go far in protecting the health of New Yorkers and our communities, and I'm going to keep pushing to ban these substances across the country. I am proud to stand with a Governor Cuomo, a fellow advocate for drug-free communities across this state, as he signs this bill that will make New York safer." "I thank Governor Cuomo for signing my bill to take the type of state-level action that is needed to protect New Yorkers from dangerous and mislabeled products known as 'bath salts,'" Senator Griffo said. "By signing this bill, Governor Cuomo has proven that our state government is serious about fighting drugs right here at home. This new law exposes the disguise and danger of these products and rightly bans them. The Governor's action in signing it shows that state government is responding to challenges and taking the necessary actions to protect the people of New York." State Assemblyman Edward C. Braunstein said, "Deceptive labeling and marketing of these bath salts has led to incredibly dangerous consequences in New York and the rest of the country. With this new law, the state has recognized and responded to these sinister products by establishing these bath salts as controlled substances. We must continue to combat the dangers of drugs in our state and do what we can to help foster a drug-free New York. I thank Governor Cuomo for his signature on this bill and appreciate his commitment to drug abuse prevention." Griffo said that his efforts to craft legislation began after he began to see multiple news reports that brought to light the use of products claiming to be bath salts as a drug, which was purchased on line. "This legislation is an important step to protect anyone who thinks these products are simply bath salts, and another step in our effort to crack down on the sales of illegal drugs by methods that evade the controls on other illegal substances," Griffo said. New York would be following Florida, Louisiana, and North Dakota in banning the sale of the chemical substances that make up "bath salts" The federal government is also considering a ban on the substances.