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State Senate passes bill to ban synthetic marijuana

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The state Senate moved to criminalize the sale and possession of synthetic marijuana, a substance that has posed problems for officials at Fort Drum.

“The growing use among young people is becoming a huge problem in the Army,” said state Sen. Patricia A. Ritchie, R-Heuvelton, at a news conference in Albany announcing the bill’s passage.

Synthetic marijuana — sold under brand names such as Spice, K2, Cloud 9 and Black 9 — has dangerous side effects including hallucinations, rapid heart rate, tremors and loss of consciousness, according to Mrs. Ritchie’s office.

The bill now goes to the Assembly for consideration.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has already banned the sale of synthetic marijuana in the state, but it’s still legal to possess it.

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