It should already be clear that marijuana registers somewhere on the scale from good for you to kicking cancer’s ass while synthetics are some heinous shit. This fact has not been lost on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio given his track record for marijuana reform. While many outlets are purporting the story that de Blasio signed into legislation yesterday a bill that criminalizes the production and sale of K2, a synthetic so widespread that it is known to my mother, that is not patently true.
In fact, a collection of bills was signed yesterday to enact legislation that takes considerably proactive steps to end synthetics’ cat-and-mouse game of ban and reformulation in New York that has dragged on in countless other municipalities. While broad verbiage can be an absolute detriment in prosecuting drug offenses depending on the interpretation of the law, a blanket ban on drugs that market themselves as synthetic marijuana may just be the trick to putting a stop to these crazy-making drug cocktails that have proven difficult to prosecute.
These drugs are cheap, often costing a buck to get high, and dominate low-income neighborhoods like East Harlem, otherwise known as "K2 Nation." NYC's new legislation will further curb their use by setting harsh fines and jail time for the bodegas found selling synthetics. Mayor de Blasio insists that profiteers will suffer the consequences, not victims.
“We understand that some of the people who use this drug are amongst the most vulnerable in our city,” he said, “and often include those who are dealing with mental health issues already. So the law doesn’t focus on attacking the victim. It focuses on criminalizing the process that brings this poison into people’s hands.”
Outlawed is not only the production of synthetics but also intent to sell (constituting of possession of a mere nine or more packets), punishable with up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine. Not only that, but the establishment may lose its ability to sell highly profitable tobacco products.
Score one for the home team, y'all! Now we just have to wait for this kind of sentiment and action to catch on.