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AG: 'Bath salt' sales spur head shop lawsuits

A file photo of a package of K2,

A file photo of a package of K2, a synthetic cannabis product. Credit: AP, 2010

Three Long Island head shops have been named in lawsuits filed by the state attorney general, claiming the stores illegally sold dangerous synthetic drugs.

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced Tuesday that his office filed 12 such lawsuits across the state against 16 head shop retailers, claiming they violated the state's labeling laws by selling designer drugs, including "bath salts" and "synthetic marijuana," according to a release issued by his office.

"In Suffolk County 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 the release.

The suits seek more accurate labeling and an immediate end to the drugs' sale.

An undercover investigation of the two Suffolk stores, East Coast Psychedelics, 6124 Jericho Tpke. in Commack, and Pavilion, 1099 N. Country Rd. in Stony Brook, revealed employees were illegally selling and promoting dangerous synthetic drugs, the release said.

"At both locations, an investigator purchased a variety of mind-altering substances, including several packages of the potent herb 'kratom,' " according to the release. "The agent also bought containers of nitrous oxide (N2O) along with the paraphernalia used to ingest the gas at a controlled pace."

A store clerk at Pavilion offered an undercover investigator advice on which packet of "kratom" to purchase, based on the clerk's personal experiences, according to the AG's office. Kratom can lead to psychosis, hallucinations, delusion and confusion, the release said.

Reached by phone, a clerk at Pavilion who did not want to be identified said, "We don't sell any of that stuff. We don't sell kratom. We don't sell nitrous oxide. We don't sell synthetic anything."

George Moss, owner of East Coast Psychedelics, acknowledged receiving a letter from the attorney general and said he has hired an attorney. Moss said his shop sells holistic herbs and incense, but nothing illegal, adding, "Why they sent this to us, I have no idea. We don't sell any of that. Never have. We're kind of against that stuff. We're not the bad guys here."

In Nassau, Kim Fulcher, the owner of Daze Smoke Shop in Baldwin, also named, said, "We're in compliance and we're not selling anything that is [not] consumable." She said she had taken the substance in question off the shelves.

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