08 May Spice Makers Still Trying to Skirt Laws
A desire to escape the emotional turmoil of the teenage years leads some teens to try substances like alcohol, marijuana and even prescription medication. While all of these substances have obstacles to acquisition, there is one dangerous substance that is easily obtained at any age.
According to a recent CNN report, the substance is a type of synthetic weed that is packaged and sold as “potpourri’ at gas stations. While the substance may seem harmless and the buyer may assume it’s safe due to its availability, its use can actually be fatal. For Emily Bauer, it almost cost her the ultimate price – her life.
The substance Bauer purchased at a local gas station is better known as K2 or Spice and is a fake weed created by combining herbs and spraying them with chemicals meant to create a high similar to that achieved when smoking marijuana. The Cypress, Texas, teenager, 17, narrowly avoided death after smoking Spice. She has been left with brain damage, paralysis and is unable to see. The product is often advertised as a legal alternative to marijuana.
What consumers may not know, however, is that this substance is anything but legal and the emergency room visits continue to mount. Since 2010, 11,406 emergency room visits linked to synthetic marijuana have been reported to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Alarmingly, the individuals winding up in the emergency room were children 12 to 17 years old.
States began to ban the synthetic drugs in 2010, yet only 43 currently have laws on the books. Older legislation targets specific versions of the drug, but the manufacturers behind Spice continue to remain a step ahead, changing the chemical compound to get around legal status. States are responding, however, by expanding their language so as to incorporate all related substances into their legislation.
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