BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - The use of synthetic marijuana has been on the rise in the United States over the past several years, and now it's reached the eastern shores of Lake Erie.
Concerned parents notified Buffalo City councilmen Darius Pridgen and Demone Smith of area stores that are selling the herb blend along with 'pot' themed candies to local kids.
Synthetic marijuana is made up of a mix of herbs sprayed with a chemical that is supposed to replicate the effect of THC, the active chemical in marijuana.
The product is sold under names like "K2", "Cush", "Black Widow," and "Mr. Happy", and is marketed as herbal incense.
The effects of the drug have never been tested in humans, however the DEA has linked countless health emergencies to its use, and some have blamed its use in a number of deaths.
The product has been banned in Europe and Asia, and a number of states have banned its sale in the United State. The Federal government has even moved to ban a number of the ingredients used to manufacture the synthetic marijuana, but it's currently still legal to sell in New York State.
Councilman Pridgen also brought up the sale of marijuana themed candy in many of these stores.
Products named "Pot Pots", "Potheads" and "Ring Pots" encourage the legalization and use of marijuana, featured an image of youth smoking a marijuana cigarette, and the word "Legalize" in bold on the product packaging.
City leaders are not calling on the community to put pressure on stores selling these items, and to notify their city council-member when they find them in area stores.
"I want the stores to get rid of it. I want them to get rid of it before they have the public pressure to get rid of it. I want them to get rid of it because it's the right thing to do," says Ellicott District Councilman Darius Pridgen.
City leaders say they plan to call a meeting with area store owners to discuss the sale of these items. They are also reminding parents and community leaders to be vigilant in pressuring store owners to remove these items from their shelves.