The synthetic marijuana known as spice, K2 or legal phunk is illegal.
That's according to the state's health commissioner who sent county health departments a letter Thursday saying the ban comes from the federal government.
In the letter, Health Commissioner Nirav Shah said the Drug Enforcement Administration used its emergency powers to call spice a Schedule I substance, which makes it illegal to possess or sell.
The DEA banned the five chemicals that are used to make the synthetic drug about a year ago. That ban was extended by six months a couple weeks ago.
According to the DEA, Schedule I substances have a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States and a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug under medical supervision.
Shah says the state's poison control centers have dealt with spice cases where patients have died, had acute renal failure, or suffered other significant cardiovascular or central nervous system issues.
Local substance abuse prevention professionals have been meeting over the past month to learn about the dangers of spice,
Fort Drum has put local head shops and convenience stores on notice, saying the stores will be off limits to soldiers if they continue selling the substance.
Sunday, March 9, 2014, Watertown, NY
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