”Spice/K2" An Emerging Problem
Recently, officers have responded to two business break-ins where the item targeted appears to be Spice / K2. On 7/11/2010, shortly after midnight a suspect broke into a business on Morganton Road and stole an unknown amount of Spice from the business. On 7/22/2010 at 4:29am, an unknown suspect broke into the Tobacco Mini-Mart at 3446 Bragg Boulevard and also stole an undetermined amount of Spice. An employee there also said that a second store in Hope Mills had also been broken into the same day.
K2/Spice is known as synthetic marijuana and has begun to appear in a number of markets in the U.S. Spice / K2 is a combination of legal herbal mixtures and synthetic chemical compounds marketed as a "legal high." The effects are similar to marijuana but include additional dangers, often unknown to parents and users, such as panic attacks, heart palpitations, hallucinations, delusions, vomiting, increased agitation, dilated pupils, and other symptoms.
Consumers of this product use it due to its similarity to marijuana. K2 has been sold since 2006 as incense for approximately $30 to $40 for a 3 gram bag. Recently, Dr. Anthony Scalzo, a professor of toxicology at Saint Louis University, has seen nearly 30 cases of teenagers experiencing adverse effects after smoking the fake weed, a legal substance that reportedly offers a marijuana-like high. "K2 use is not limited to the Midwest; reports of its use are cropping up all over the country," Scalzo said. "I think K2 is likely a bigger problem than we're aware of at this time."
Chemicals within the drug are structurally and pharmacologically similar to THC, the main ingredient in marijuana. Alabama and Lousiana have intorduced legislation making several of the chemical compounds illegal. Currently, Kansas is the only state to have already passed legislation to ban these chemical substances. K2/Spice is also branded as “Mojo”, “Genie” and “Yucatan Fire” and include herbs such as;
- Baybean, which is smoked as a marijuana substitute.
- Blue Lotus, whose flowers are known for visionary and inebriating effects.
- Dwarf Scullcap, a sedative.
- Indian Warrior, a muscle relaxer,
- Lion’s Tail and Pink Lotus which are used for euphoric effects.
- Maconha Brava which is smoked for visionary effects.
Police wish to make consumers and parents aware of the dangers associated with K2 “Spice”.