Synthetic marijuana was sold freely in shops throughout New York City until Thursday. The city has banned sales of the product after it was linked to serious health risks. The product known as Smiley Dog, Spice, Mr. Nice Guy and Galaxy Gold gives its smokers a chemical high, which up to now was available over the counter in tobacco shops and convenience stores.
Nirav Shah the state’s Health Commissioner banned the product immediately. Synthetic marijuana is plant based and covered in chemicals that imitate marijuana’s active ingredients THC. The health commissioner’s order said that the product was linked to adverse reactions that could be very severe, including acute renal failure and death. The order also said the product caused accelerated heart rates, nausea, paranoia, seizures, loss of consciousness and confusion.
All sales of the products and its distribution were ordered to cease immediately. The commissioner’s office said that drugs sold under the banner of synthetic marijuana are poorly understood and reports from centers for poison control show they contain toxic materials and are very likely dangerous.
New York officials believe that since the product was available in stores many people believed it to be safe. They also worry that its use was increasing rapidly across the city. With the order, officials said it would no longer be on store shelves in New York City. The department of health in the city said the new order would be sent out to over 10,000 retailers. In certain states, the synthetic drug is still legal however, the DEA extended their year old order that bans some of the chemicals that are used in making the fake drug.