Oswego (WSYR-TV) -- Oswego County is one step closer to a much stronger law aimed at the synthetic drug epidemic sweeping the area. County legislature has put everything into place to pass a new law at its next meeting.
The Woolson family has a personal stake in fighting for tougher laws than what’s already on the books.
“I do not want to see this happen to another family. I would like to see anyone who cares more about the money made by these synthetics than human life to be prosecuted to the fullest extent possible,” said Sarah Gauger, whose brother died after taking synthetic drugs.
She says her brother purchased the drugs at a store, even though Federal and State bans were in place to stop their sales.
“After using these drugs he became addicted and it changes his personality and ultimately caused his death,” said Gauger.
Unlike the state, which uses public health law, Oswego County is criminalizing both the sale and possession of synthetic drugs. Should the state ever make a move to criminalize it, they won't need one here locally, but until then the County wants to have one in place.
“I don’t know that there’s anything that can be strong enough to fight the problem and we want to make sure that our law enforcement has all the tools they need to fight this,” said Oswego County Legislative Chair Fred Beardsley.
Not everyone is on the side of what seems like an inevitable strengthening of the fight against synthetic drugs in Oswego County.
“I have been a responsible user of synthetic marijuana for over a year now. I use this product to control my chronic pain from a herniated disc and five bulging discs in my neck,” said synthetic drug user Wayne Johnson.
The law is expected to pass on September 13. When it does, it will immediately go into effect. Anyone convicted faces a fine of up to $1,000 and up to a year in jail.