Buffalo, NY (WKBW)- A legal product is stirring up controversy in the Queen City. Local groups, activists, and lawmakers want to see synthetic Marijuana banned from local stores. The product is currently being marketed as 'herbal incense', but is reportedly laced with chemicals and users smoke the product like Marijuana. Health officials also say using the product has been linked to serious conditions including psychotic episodes. The product is legal to sell in New York. A concerned resident submitted cell phone video to Eyewitness News, allegedly showing a deli employee trying to persuade a customer to buy the product.
"All of this Marijuana on the shelves is unacceptable. It also have labels on it to target kids," said Tanya Pickett-Stewart, who captured the video.
The cell phone footage is disturbing to 'B.U.I.L.D. of Buffalo' members, a local community activist group. Members have created a task force with business owners and other community activists to try and end the sale of these products. The Arab American Business Association, which represents 80 deli stores, says many owners have already voluntarily stopped selling synthetic Marijuana and products that resemble drugs.
"It's hard to tell someone to stop selling something when it's legal," said Fred Merukeb, president of the Association. "But morally, we have an obligation to stop them from dealing with a product that is unhealthy. It's Unhealthy for our community, and for our kids."