Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed a bill proposed by state Assemblyman Edward Braunstein, D-Bayside, into law that adds new compounds used for making bath salts to a banned substances list.
In 2011, the state enacted a law introduced by Braunstein that banned the sale or distribution of any product containing Mephedrone and MDPV, which were being marketed for recreational use as bath salts.
However, the compounds are classified as controlled substances and “bath salts” is a commonly used term for drugs similar to methamphetamines.
The drugs can stimulate the nervous and cardiac systems and cause heart attacks, seizures, brain damage, severe hallucinations and suicidal and violent behavior.
“We have seen too many examples and heard too many stories all over our state and around the country about these dangerous drugs that have devastating effects,” Braunstein said. “Since we passed the ban in 2011, we have seen an explosion of bath salts made from compounds created by drug dealers to circumvent the current law.”
The assemblyman said that several deaths during the Electric Zoo music festival at Randall’s Island during Labor Day weekend were reportedly caused by the use of a drug known as “Molly,” which contained bath salt compounds.
Braunstein’s bill has now been upgraded to include additional compounds to the list and classified them as Schedule 1 stimulant controlled substances.
The legislation imposes criminal penalties on those who sell, use or possess the drugs as well as making it a felony to sell the substances to a minor or on school grounds.
“By closing a significant loophole and toughening penalties to curb the sale of these drugs, we can prevent more deaths and further tragedy in communities across New York,” Cuomo said.