Push to ban Cloud 9, other synthetic drugs

Batavia, N.Y. - Months after 4 high school students at Batavia High School checked into the hospital after ingesting "Cloud 9" a synthetic drug, Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) is calling for the Drug Enforcement Agency to ban the substance. "The DEA is moving too slowly," he said at Batavia High School on Monday. "The drugs are powerful, they have severe side effects and some of the kids develop permanent mental health problems once they use them." In some instances, Cloud 9 is available at convenience stores. Many synthetic drugs and bath salts were banned as a result of legislation back in 2012, but now manufacturers are tinkering with their formulas to skirt the law. Synthetic drugs are a toxic combination of chemicals made to mimic 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive ingredient of marijuana.  These drugs are often made to seem inviting and harmless - sold under names like "K2," "incense," "spice," etc. - but in actuality they are dangerous chemical concoctions, and this false advertising lures users in. Many experts, however, consider Cloud 9 to be a a dangerous synthetic drug capable of causing seizures, psychotic thoughts and even permanent psychosis. There are reports across the country of hospital visits as a result of the drug. Scott Wilson, the Principal at Batavia High School said that although the drug is still available to purchase, he's making an effort to keep students and parents aware of the dangers. "We've really reached out to try and learn more about it," he said, after Senator Schumer announced plans to speak with the DEA. "We want to be much more preventative, and we've had a panel discussion for parents to get the word out, because it was so new." 13WHAM News has reached out to the DEA to comment on this story, it has not responded to those requests. 

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