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New York Attorney General files suit against 16 'head shops'

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced last week that his office has filed a lawsuit against 16 so-called head shops across the state. He wants to shut them down for selling banned substances since the ban was enacted by the Drug Enforcement Administration in October 2011.

The retailers are selling illegal substances and designer drugs including whippets, synthetic marijuana and "bath salts." The lawsuit is actually using state and federal labeling laws to bring down the retailers for selling the dangerous unlabeled intoxicants considered as street drug alternatives.

In addition, the possession and sale of three of the synthetic stimulant chemicals commonly used to make bath salts -- mephedrone, MDPV, and methylone - is against the law.

Synthetic marijuana called "spice" is a psychoactive designer drug derived of natural herbs sprayed with synthetic chemicals that, when consumed, allegedly mimic the pleasurable effects of cannabis.

One of the head shops targeted by the Attorney General is Giggles, located in Poughkeepsie. Authorities have undercover surveillance video of the shop continuing to sell the banned substances.

Minors can be stopped and charged with DWI or DWAI after taking one of these designer drugs. Alcohol is not the only reason people get charged with intoxicated operation of a motor vehicle. They can also be charged with possession and paraphernalia. If drivers are under the age of 21 and convicted for DWI or DWAI, their driver's license is revoked for at least one year. On a second conviction, the revocation period is at least one year or until you reach the age of 21, whichever is longer.

The store owners have a hearing in state court next month.

Source:, "AG targets 16 head shops across NYS," Eli George, July 10, 2012

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