Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed a bill sponsored by Sen. Joseph Griffo (R-Rome) aimed at stopping the sale and use of bath salt-type drugs that have been connected to recent deaths of young party-goers in New York City.
The new law, according to Griffo, would add new compounds used to make these types of drugs to the state's banned substances list. It classifies these compounds as Schedule I stimulant controlled substances and imposes criminal penalties on those who sell, use or possess these drugs.
The law makes it a felony to sell the substances to a minor or on school grounds.
“I applaud Governor Cuomo for signing this measure into law because these drugs are very dangerous and cause violence and death,” Griffo said. “News reports blame bath salt drugs for the recent deaths of as many as three people in New York City.”
“The latest danger posed by these drugs involves dealers passing the bath salts off to young people as the party-drug ‘Molly,’ by claiming the substance is pure ecstasy, when, in fact, the drug is the same kind of dangerous narcotic that causes violence and death,” Griffo said.
The Senate passed the bill unanimously at the conclusion of the legislative session in June.
Bath salts are a commonly-used term for man-made stimulant drugs that are similar to methamphetamines, according to an announcement from Griffo’s office. These drugs can stimulate both the nervous system and the cardiac system and can cause heart attacks, seizures, permanent brain damage and severe hallucinations.
“These so-called ‘bath salts’ are not the same as aromatic bath salts,” Griffo said. “They contain a potentially lethal mix of synthetic drugs and serve no purpose other than to get the user high. This law bans these dangerous substances so we may help keep our young people safe. This action is needed because tragically, these incidents are still taking place across New York.”
Griffo represents the 47th Senate District, which includes a swath of central St. Lawrence County (the towns of Massena, Brasher, Norfolk, Stockholm, Potsdam, Pierrepont, Russell, Clifton, Fine, and Pitcairn) and extends south to Lewis and, his home territory, Oneida county.