THE BRONX - State lawmakers are calling for harsher penalties against those caught selling synthetic marijuana.
Undercover investigators working for state Sen. Jeff Klein recently recorded purchases of synthetic marijuana at 24 Bronx delis and bodegas.
Their videos appear to show workers offering a variety of different types of the illegal drug, which has brand names like K-2 and Spice.
One of the delis Sen. Klein's investigators accused of selling synthetic marijuana was the E-Z Pass Gourmet Deli on 187th Street. The owner there denied any knowledge of the investigation and says his shop has not sold synthetic marijuana "in a long time."
Klein says the Bronx is a hotspot for selling and distributing synthetic marijuana.
Other lawmakers have joined Klein's call for stiffer penalties that would include increased fines and even jail time. The drug is already illegal, but the current fine for distribution is only $500.
Health experts say the drug is extremely dangerous. Police video has shown erratic behavior by people who have ingested the drug, and doctors at Jacobi Medical Center report 700 emergency room visits related to synthetic pot.