In fact, the Fake Weed isn’t really weed–it is a deadly cocktail of chemicals sprayed on organic material. (If you want some of the science behind these dangerous drugs, please see our Science Page.)
Because that cocktail changes almost weekly, and there is no accurate testing for it–we don’t know what the dangers of Fake Weed really are, how many homicides, suicides, deaths, injuries, and violent attacks it may be responsible for, or what types of temporary or permanent damage it may do to those who use it.
There is no “quality control.” There is no “supervision.” There is only a profit-driven, dangerously irresponsible, fly-by-night chain of developers, manufacturers, distributers, dealers, and users.
Fake Weed is EXTREMELY dangerous, deadly even (just take a look at our “Synthetic Marijuana Deaths” page, if you want proof). Remember, no one is keeping track of these statistics! We don’t really know how many people have been injured or have died as a result of synthetic marijuana.
We applaud the NY Senate, look forward to the NY House passing this bill as quickly as possible, and thank parents like Deidre Cannaday for coming forward to share their story with the world in order to prevent more deaths.
The New York State Senate today passed a bill that would make the possession and sale of fake marijuana a crime in the Empire State — which would make the possession of fake marijuana more illegal than possession of real marijuana.
Real marijuana, as we’ve mentioned in prior posts about the proposed ban of faux-weed, was decriminalized in New York in 1977 (a marijuana possession ticket in New York is about as serious a violation as a parking ticket). Under the new bill, possession or sale of fake weed would be would be a misdemeanor, with provisions that make certain sales (sale to children or in school zones) class-B felonies.
“Fake pot has real health consequences, as do bath salts and other products that are aggressively being marketed to young people on Long Island and around the State,” Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds, executive director of the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, says. “Several journal articles published in the last three months have detailed a wide range of psychiatric symptoms experienced by users including paranoia, hallucinations, delusions and extreme anxiety. Several other journal articles have detailed cases of convulsions, heart attacks and kidney failure in adolescents who, because these substances are legal, often mistakenly believe they are safe.”
While fake weed being more illegal than real weed sounds pretty ridiculous, the effects of synthetic weed have proven to be more dangerous than those of the real stuff.
Synthetic weed is herbs sprayed with synthetic canabanoids. Some of the side effects include rapid heart rate, tremors, loss of consciousness and hallucinations. In a few cases — like that of 26-year-old Aaron Stinson — smoking synthetic marijuana can be fatal. On the flip side, it’s impossible to die from an overdose of real marijuana.
In an attempt to illustrate the dangers of synthetic weed, legislators point to the case of Richard “Psycho” Velazquez, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to felony counts of assault and strangulation in an attack on a woman and her infant child in Glens Falls. Velazquez, legislators say, slammed the victim’s face into a mirror, choked her, and tackled her down a flight of stairs as she held her 7-week-old child. Velazquez claims the synthetic marijuana he and the victim had been smoking prior to the attack directly contributed to his actions. That said, legislators might want to find a better anecdote to illustrate the dangers of synthetic weed than one that references a guy whose nickname is “Psycho.” In other words, perhaps “Psycho” is just a psycho who’s trying to blame his crime on fake weed.
Governor Andrew Cuomo already has placed an administrative ban on synthetic marijuana (meaning police can confiscate it). If the bill criminalizing fake weed gets to his desk, it seems pretty likely that he’ll sign it. Click here to read the full version of the bill.