[HISTORY: Adopted by the County Legislature of the County of Sullivan as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Social hosts — See Ch. 170.
[Adopted 12-20-2012 by L.L. No. 5-2012]
Editor's Note: This local law provided an effective date of 4-30-2012.
This Legislature hereby finds and determines that sale and possession of synthetic cannabinoids and operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of synthetic cannabinoids poses a serious threat to the health, safety and welfare of the residents of Sullivan County.
The Legislature finds that synthetic drugs, those that mimic the effects of banned drugs, have increasing become a public safety concern throughout the country. To circumvent state and federal drug laws, the manufacturers of these synthetic drugs market their products under the guise of being a commonly used product, such as bath salts or incense. Synthetic cannabinoids are being sold under such names as K2, Spice, Blonde, Summit, Standard, Blaze, Red Dawn X, Citron and Scooby Snax, among others. In addition, the purveyors of these substances are constantly changing the chemical makeup of these synthetic compounds to stay one step ahead of the law prohibiting their possession, sale or use while driving.
The Legislature finds that on March 12, 2012, the New York State Commissioner of Health, Nirav R. Shah, M.D., authored a letter warning all New York healthcare providers of the emerging threat to public health from the use of synthetic cannabinoids. She reported that these products are marketed as legal and consist of plant material coated with chemicals that mimic THC, the active ingredient in marihuana and that the use of these products has been associated with a dramatic increase in the number of calls to the New York State Poison Control Center in 2012. These synthetic cannabinoids have caused severe and catastrophic effects to those who have consumed them, including death, acute renal failure, as well as other significant adverse health effects to the cardiovascular and central nervous systems. She further reported that users report highs that last from 30 minutes to two hours, and, at times, describe out-of-body experiences. The most common symptoms from use of these substances are tachycardia, paranoia, agitation/irritability, nausea and vomiting, confusion, drowsiness, headache, hypertension, electrolyte abnormalities, seizures, and loss of consciousness.
The Legislature finds that due to the imminent threat to public safety, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has utilized its emergency powers to render these substances illegal for sale by including them as Schedule I controlled substances and is moving to permanently ban these substances.
The Legislature finds that the New York State Senate has passed legislation banning synthetic cannabinoids but this legislation has died in the Assembly. This Legislature further finds and determines that, currently, no criminal sanctions exist under the Penal Law and Vehicle and Traffic Law, for the possession, sale and use of these dangerous substances while driving and that local legislation is needed to address this emerging and substantial threat to public safety.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- A. Any chemical compound that is chemically synthesized and:
- (1) Has been demonstrated to have a binding activity at one or more cannabinoid receptors; or
- (2) Is a chemical isomer, salt or salt of an isomer of a compound that has been demonstrated to have binding activity at one or more cannabinoid receptors; or
- (3) Is a chemical analog or homolog of a compound that has been demonstrated to have binding activity at the cannabinoid receptors.
- B. Includes but is not limited to the following substances:
- (1) HU-210: (6aR,10aR)-9-(Hydroxymethyl)-6,6-dimethyl-3-(2-methyloctan-2-yl)-6A,7,10,10a-tetrahydrobenzo[c]chromen-1-ol;
- (2) HU-211: Dexanabinol,(6aS,10aS)-9-(Hydroxymethyl)-6,6-dimethyl-3-(2-methyloctan-2-yl)-6A,7,10,10A-tetrahydrobenzo[c]chromen-1-ol;
- (3) JWH-018: 1-pentyl-3-(1-naphthoyl)indole;
- (4) JWH-073: 1-butyl-3-(1-naphthoyl)indole;
- (5) JWH-081: 1-pentyl-3-(4-methoxy-1-napthoyl)indole, also known as 4-methoxynapthalen-1-yl- (1-pentylindol-3-yl)methanone;
- (8) CP 47,497,and homologues: 2-[(1R,3S)-3- hydroxycyclohexyl]-5-(2-methyloctan-2-yl)phenol.
- C. Does not include any products that have been approved for medical use by the United States Food and Drug Administration.
- SYNTHETIC CANNABINOID ANALOG
- Any chemical that is substantially similar in chemical structure to a chemical compound that has been determined to have binding activity at one or more cannabinoid receptors. It does not include any products that have been approved for medical use by the United States Food and Drug Administration.
Except as otherwise authorized by law, it shall be unlawful for any person to:
Operate a motor vehicle on the public highways of the County of Sullivan, as those terms are defined in the Vehicle and Traffic Law, Article 31, while under the influence of a synthetic cannabinoid or synthetic cannabinoid analog, as defined in § 99-2. A person is deemed to be operating a vehicle while under the influence of synthetic cannabinoids when the consumption of such substances impairs, to any extent, the physical and mental abilities which such person is expected to possess in order to operate a vehicle as a reasonable and prudent driver. All of the provisions of the Vehicle and Traffic Law with respect to arrest and testing and chemical test evidence shall apply to any such case brought under this subsection.
The sale or possession of any synthetic cannabinoid or synthetic cannabinoid analog, as prohibited in § 99-3A, shall constitute a Class A misdemeanor and be exclusively prosecuted by the Sullivan County District Attorney's office and shall be subject to any sentence permitted for a Class A misdemeanor under the Penal Law, including up to one year in the Sullivan County Jail as provided in § 60.01, § 70.15 and Article 65 of the Penal Law of the State of New York.
The operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of a synthetic cannabinoid or synthetic cannabinoid analog, as prohibited in § 99-3B, shall constitute an unclassified misdemeanor and be exclusively prosecuted by the Sullivan County District Attorney's office and shall be subject to any sentence permitted for an unclassified misdemeanor under Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1193, including up to one year in the Sullivan County Jail and revocation of the person's driver's license for six months.