A year-long ban on chemicals used as a marijuana substitute was announced on Tuesday by the Drug Enforcement Administration. The ban was put in place for a year, with the possibility of a six-month extension until authorities can determine whether or not the substances should be permanently controlled or regulated by the government.
These chemicals, which are typically sold at smoke shops, are often marketed outright as a marijuana substitute because they produce a high that is similar to the one produced by smoking pot. It turns out though, that these chemicals, known on the street by names like “K2”, “Spice” and “Wicked X”, are incredibly bad for you and carry a risk of some serious side effects.
These smokable, synthetic marijuana are incorrectly labeled in stores as “herbal incense”, giving the ordinary passer-by the impression that it’s as harmless as an air freshener.
Rusty Payne, a spokesman of the Drug Enforcement Administration said “This is bad stuff. It causes a lot of problems. It is our duty and our responsibility to act when there is an imminent threat to public health and safety”, and I couldn’t agree with him more.
The truth is, these drugs cause users to experience anxiety attacks, disorientation, dangerously high heart rates, convulsions, vomiting, hallucinations and even seizures. Clearly, this isn’t something that should be taken lightly.
The drugs gained popularity in 2009 with college students and teenagers looking for a way to get high without risking getting into legal trouble. The United States Naval Academy has already expelled several students for using the drug, and rightly so. “Spice in particular has a devastating effect on students who need to study and retain knowledge”, said Vice President Admiral Michael Miller.
Additionally, some people who have taken the drug have become viciously sick, and one young man in