Looking for a casual night of "vivid hallucinations and intense paranoia" (plus "severe aggressiveness, paranoia, psychosis, depression, suicidal thoughts and even death")? Well, you might have to find a way to do that naturally: today, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the New York State Department of Health will be ramping up its crackdown on bath salts and other synthetic drugs even more, making it a violation to sell, distribute or possess them.
And while the DOH already bummed out synthetic stoners by banning fake weed back in March, the production and sale of both synthetic marijuana and bath salts are still off the charts nationwide, even warranting a massive DEA bust last month. "Bath salts and other synthetic drugs pose a direct, serious threat to public heath and safety, and we must do everything we can to remove these harmful substances from sale and distribution in New York," Governor Cuomo said. "The actions we are announcing today attack the problem by helping our law enforcement officers enforce the rules, expanding the list of banned substances used to manufacture bath salts, and imposing tougher penalties so those who sell these drugs are held accountable."
The measure is primarily aimed at small-time manufacturers, smoke shops and bodegas, and anyone found in violation of the new regulation could be fined, jailed for up to 15 days or have their business shut down by the DOH. The Health Department has also added a number of substances to its list of prohibited drugs and chemicals, making it more difficult for crafty cookers to skirt the regulation by changing up the mixture.
Bath salts have skyrocketed onto the substance abuse radar this year, with headliners like May's Miami face-biting incident drawing national attention to the drug, which wasn't, in the end, involved in that incident. President Obama signed a federal bill banning bath salts last month; Gov. Cuomo has also established a Synthetic Drug Hotline to help state officials crack down on the drug's manufacturing and distribution.