BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP/WBEN) - The New York Attorney General's office is suing 16 shops across the state to stop them from selling so-called bath salts and other synthetic drugs.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says Tuesday that his office has filed lawsuits in 12 counties targeting retailers commonly known as head shops.
Schneiderman says the lawsuits follow an undercover investigation and accuse shops from Buffalo to Long Island of violating New York's labeling laws. Those laws require that products sold to consumers show, among other things, what's in them and where they're made and packed.
One was in Buffalo. In May of this year, a senior investigator from the Attorney General's office made two separate investigative visits to the store "Pavilion International" located at 3234 Main Street in Buffalo. The agent first purchased the potent herb Salvia along with a "bubbler" pipe recommended by the store's clerk as the "best" way to experience the drug. On his second trip, the agent bought a charger of nitrous oxide (N2O) paired with a "cracker" and a "balloon," paraphernalia used specifically to break the seal on containers of nitrous oxide and allowing it to be inhaled in a controlled fashion.
Schneiderman says it's been difficult for authorities to outlaw synthetic drugs because manufacturers tweak the compounds once certain chemicals are banned.
The drugs are increasingly linked to bizarre and violent behavior around the country.