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More Bans on “Spice”

Posted on March 1, 2010 in Research & News

Spice, a product which has been portrayed as a natural herbal mix of substances such as vanilla and Baybean, is being banned more and more by various groups and agencies. Spice actually contains a type of synthetic cannabinoid. It has been legally marketed as a harmless product – a “legal high”. It is sold under various names including K2, Spice Diamond, Spice Gold and Spice Silver.

The herbal substance is reportedly coated with chemicals which create effects very similar to marijuana. In fact, some say the potency of Spice is several times that of THC, which is the active chemical in marijuana. Spice is not harmless at all, as its use can lead to panic attacks and paranoia according to some experts.

The growing concern about this “safe alternative” to marijuana is that is a potentially dangerous substance. But many buyers are unaware of its dangers. It is sold on the Internet by a variety of different online retailers and thus easily attained by minors. There is limited, if any, regulation of the websites on which this substance is sold.

Many countries have already banned the synthetic substances found in Spice. These countries include Austria, Germany, Sweden, Russia, and Lithuania to name a few. A similar substance, BZP, has already been made illegal in the UK, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

In Kansas, lawmakers are working to get Spice banned. Law enforcement officers there are apparently concerned about adolescent use of Spice and similar substances. As one of the senators there pointed out, Spice is still a drug, even if it is an imitation one. An opposing Kansas senator, David Haley, has argued that if substances like Spice are banned, teens will find more dangerous alternatives. He regards the move to ban it as “hysteria”. Apparently his perspective was not shared by his colleagues.

The Marine Corps also recently banned Spice, as well as another herbal hallucinogen known as Salvia. They argue that the substance can impact both judgment and reflexes for several days following use, and that this creates safety concerns. They don’t care if others consider it legal and thus safe.

It will be interesting to see how long it takes other states and institutions to decide to ban “legal highs” such as Spice. Hopefully it will occur before tragic consequences occur from its use.
 

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