A Stony Brook store is facing a lawsuit from the state attorney general for allegedly selling synthetic designer drugs, according to a report published Tuesday in Newsday.
New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Tuesday he filed 12 lawsuits against stores for allegedly violating the state's labeling laws by selling designer drugs. According to Newsday, Pavilion International, located on North Country Rd. in Stony Brook, was cited among 16 "head shops."
The lawsuit alleges that Pavilion International sold designer drugs, including commonly known synthetics as "bath salts" and "synthetic marijuana." Another Suffolk County shop, East Coast Psychedelics, is also listed in the suit.
"The proliferation of illegal synthetic drugs has become a national crisis. In Rochester and across the state, our undercover investigations have revealed the widespread sales and promotion of bath salts and other dangerous drugs that are destroying people’s lives," Schneiderman said in a statement. "We discovered that head shop employees were giving tutorials on how to use dangerous intoxicants. With today’s actions, we are fighting back to control this crisis, and ensure that the days of profiting off the illegal sale of these dangerous drugs are over."
The attorney general's office conducted an undercover video investigation of head shops across New York that revealed designer drugs were being sold under names like "MJ Blueberry Aromatic Potpourri," "Bizarro" and "VOODOO" while being labeled with false descriptions as incense, potpourri, sachets and dietary supplements.
Investigators from the attorney general's office visited stores from Rochester and Albany down to Suffolk, entering stores and purchasing a sample of the illegally labeled intoxicants. They also captured video footage of the store transaction and interactions with the store's employees.
Both federal and state authorities have attempted to outlaw certain chemical compounds and their equivalents, but said their efforts have fallen short as suppliers continue to stay ahead by changing the compounds and labeling of those products being sold to retailers.
There have been several dangerous instances reported by the media recently in which the individual involved have been accused of being on these designer drugs. This includes a naked man eating another man's face in Miami, as reported by the Huffington Post, and a New York City film student who leapt to his death off Roosevelt Island balcony, as reported by ABC.
"There is a completely new level of violence and unpredictability associated with these patients. In some instances, hospital staff have been diverted from helping other patients in order to assist in securing and stabilizing designer drug users. This demonstrates the gravity of the danger posed by users of designer drugs. I support Attorney General Schneiderman's efforts of getting these unlabeled, misbranded and misleading so called ‘designer drugs’ off store shelves in New York State," said Maja Lundborg-Gray, M.D., at Samaritan Medical Center in Watertown, NY, in a statement.
Under the lawsuit, the attorney general not only seeks to end the sale of mislabeled drugs but wants a record of f all commodities sold or offered for sale including the name of the product, the manufacturer and/or distributor of the product, a description of the product, the retail price of the product and the number of units sold.
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