health

DEA Bans Synthetic Marijuana

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Althea Fung
Dec. 10, 2010, 4:36 a.m.

A pop­u­lar syn­thet­ic form of marijuana will go up in smoke by month’s end, as the Drug En­force­ment Ad­min­is­tra­tion is im­pos­ing a year­long ban.

Sold as in­cense in smoke shops, the In­ter­net, and con­veni­ence stores un­der the names “Spice” and “K2” for up to $75, the man-made marijuana has been up­graded to a Sched­ule I sub­stance and will be taken off shelves across the coun­try by Decem­ber 24. The ban will give the agency the op­por­tun­ity to study the chem­ic­als in the product and de­vel­op meas­ures to con­trol the sub­stance. Oth­er Sched­ule I sub­stances in­clude marijuana, heroin, and LSD.

The product has be­come very pop­u­lar across the coun­try for its marijuana-like high without the leg­al rami­fic­a­tions of smoking it. But after sev­er­al users were hos­pit­al­ized for pois­on­ing, law­makers called on the agency to take ac­tion.

Fif­teen states, in­clud­ing Geor­gia, Alabama, Ten­ness­ee, and Mis­souri, have already made smoking syn­thet­ic marijuana il­leg­al.

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