Scary Spice: Synthetic Marijuana Ban Spreads

March 25th, 2010 - 10:30 pm ICT by Angela Kaye Mason  

vote Mar 25 (THAINDIAN NEWS) Kansas was the first state to ban the use of K2, also known as “Spice”, a synthetic marijuana that has teenagers everywhere risking their lives for a “high.” The country of Europe banned the substance long ago, Kansas banned the drug earlier this month, and now many other states are expected to follow. Both the Missouri House and Senate have approved legislation that would ban K2 and other brands of fake marijuana. Illinois, Utah, Kentucky, Georgia, North Dakota, and Tennessee have all said that they may soon join the ban as well.

There is one small loophole in these bans, however. The ban in Missouri, for instance, cannot stop the new fake drugs which are popping up. For now all of these drugs including K2, or “Spice” are legal. The ban in Missouri will make drugs with these chemical make-ups illegal, but that is not stopping other drugs with a different chemical make-up from being created. One such product, being sold in St Charles at a bait store and a head shop is called Shy Tsunami, and the ban would not cover this particular product. It seems that the desire to use drugs is growing faster than the lawmakers can keep up.

So what is the issue with K2? Well it s actually sold as a herbal incense, and even says on a website which sells the product, “K2Herbal products are novelty incenses and are not for consumption.” It is sold in different flavors in 3 gram bags and sprayed with a synthetic substance that causes many of the same symptoms as THC. And for now it is perfectly legal. The problem is that this drug actually carries dangers that real marijuana doesn’t even have.

“Our biggest concern is that this particular chemical is likely manufactured in a dorm-room setting. And these dorm-room scientists are not going to be exhibiting a lot of quality assurance techniques,” says Dr. Gaylord Lopez, a toxicologist and head of the Georgia Poison Center.

“Synthetic drugs and herbal drug products like Spice and K2 are not made in a controlled environment and thus you are playing Russian roulette when it comes to these types of products,” said Dawn Dearden, a spokeswoman for the DEA, “There is no way, outside of a controlled laboratory environment, to determine the chemical makeup, synthetic ingredients or amounts, and therefore there is no way to determine with any accuracy what the potentially harmful effects may be.”

The side effects can be serious: panic attacks, hallucinations, delusions, vomiting, increased agitation and dilated pupils. The Georgia Poison Center alone has seen over 20 cases of teenagers showing up in emergency rooms due to the drug, since December. One teenage boy lapsed into a coma after using the drug. Around the Poison Control Center of Georgia, the drug has become known as “Scary Spice.”

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