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    New York City Bans Synthetic Marijuana to Curb Spike in Sales

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    NYC has banned the production and sale of "K2," "Spice" and other synthetic marijuana products.

    NEW YORK (Sputnik) — New York City has banned the production and sale of "K2," "Spice" and other synthetic marijuana products, Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement.

    "K2 is a poison that threatens public safety and public health, and these new laws criminalize sellers and manufacturers," de Blasio stated on Tuesday.

    Under the new law, manufacturing or possessing synthetic marijuana will be punished by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.

    © Photo : Krasnoyarsk Krai Department of the Russian Federal Drug Control Service
    Moreover, delis or bodegas that sell synthetic marijuana, often packaged as K2, Spice and other brand names, may lose their licenses to sell tobacco products.

    "K2 is wasting people away and putting record numbers into our emergency rooms," City Council Member Dan Garodnick said in a statement. "By cracking down on the bad actors making illegal sales, it will help us get K2 off the street."

    According to city health officials, synthetic marijuana does not contain actual marijuana, but synthetic chemicals that may be tremendously harmful if smoked or ingested.

    More than 4,500 synthetic marijuana-related emergency department visits took place in 2015, according to the New York City Health Department.

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