Fake Marijuana: The Facts

By Lu Ann Cahn
|  Monday, Sep 6, 2010  |  Updated 10:19 PM EDT
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Fake Marijuana: The Facts

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BERKELEY, CA - MARCH 25: Marijuana clones are displayed at the Berkeley Patients Group March 25, 2010 in Berkeley, California. California Secretary of State Debra Bowen certified a ballot initiative late yesterday to legalize the possession and sale of marijuana in the State of California after proponents of the measure submitted over 690,000 signatures. The measure will appear on the November 2 general election ballot. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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What is K2/Spice?

K2 or Spice is a synthetic marijuana that mimics the hallucinogenic effects that occur when smoking traditional marijuana. It does not contain THC (the chemical used in marijuana) but it does contain a compound, often referred to as a synthetic cannabinoid, that has the same effects as THC.

K2 or Spice is sold as herbal incense with instructions saying it is not to be used for human consumption, however, it is smoked like traditional marijuana.

Is it legal?

K2 or Spice is currently legal in the U.S. however, 8 states, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Kansas, and Wisconsin have made it illegal due to its’ harmful effects. Several other states are currently drawing up legislation to illegalize this synthetic marijuana due to severity of its potentially harmful effects.

Why is it harmful?

K2 or Spice is dangerous because it magnifies the already dangerous effects of traditional marijuana, which include but are not limited to: paranoia, increased heart rate, nausea, depression, and anxiety.

Where can you get it?

You can get K2 or Spice at any head shop, smoke shop, or even gas station. It is slowly becoming increasingly popular on the east coast.

How much does it cost?

K2 or Spice costs around $20 for one gram and around $45 for 3 grams.

Here are links if you are interested in learning more about K2 or Spice:

National Drug Intelligence Center
 
Fake Marijuana Spurs More Than 750 Calls to Poison Centers This Year
 
Newsweek: Fake Pot Panic
 
Lawmakers Hope to Snuff Out Fake Pot
 
CNN: Synthetic Marijuana a Growing Teen Trend
 
Wikipedia: Synthetic Cannabis

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