Following Suffolk County's – and just over a month after a – New York State this week outlawed the sale and possession of bath salts and synthetic drugs.
"Bath salts and other synthetic drugs pose a direct, serious threat to public health and safety, and we must do everything we can to remove these harmful substances from sale and distribution in New York," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement.
Synthetic drugs are slightly altered in their chemical compounds to avoid outlaw under existing drug laws. The products are then marketed under various names. Synthetic cocaine, according to Cuomo's office, has been dubbed White Lightning, Tranquility, Zoom, and other names. Designer marijuana as Spice, K2, and Blaze.
While similar, the altered drugs themselves can be just as - if not more - dangerous than the real thing, officials say.
Cuomo's office cited data from the New York State Poison Control Center: in 2010, there were 20 calls concerning synthetic marijuana poisonings. There were 291 in 2011, and 321 through the first six months of 2012.
Violators will face fines up to $500 and up to 15 days in jail for either distributing or possessing the illicit drugs. Civil penalties could result in fines up to $2,000.
President Barack Obama signed a ban on bath salts in July. However, the state legislation will enable New York State authorities to pursue violators.