In 2010, lawmakers in Michigan passed a law banning several different ingredients used in the manufacture of synthetic marijuana, also called Spice and K2. But the products remain on store shelves. Why? Because manufacturers changed the ingredients to skirt the law. As more and more teens try the substance, lawmakers scramble to enact legislation that will stop the reportedly-dangerous substances in their tracks.
According to the Detroit Free Press, numerous cases of Spice-use gone wrong have made headlines over the past few years. They include two teen boys who attacking a Farmington Hills family with baseball bats, a possible overdose of a Bloomfield Township boy, and an elderly grandmother being forced to kill her own grandson in self-defense.
A growing number of people are also seeking treatment for dependence on the substance, leading parents and officials to crusade for tougher laws.
Synthetic marijuana looks like crushed herbs, and it is made with “plant materials,” but it is not marijuana and is not related to marijuana. What is responsible for the high that people experience after smoking Spice isn’t the plant material but the chemicals sprayed on them. These chemicals are said to mimic THC, the intoxicating compound found naturally in marijuana.
Both state and federal lawmakers have attempted to stop Spice in its tracks, but both have ran into the same problem. Now, Michigan lawmakers are considering legislation that would ban any currently included fake-pot ingredients as well as any similar ingredients to be developed in the future.
A survey last year showed the popularity of synthetic marijuana is growing among teens in the area. Alcohol remained ranked highest, with 63.5% of twelfth-grade students having admitted using it. 36.4% of 12th-graders admitted marijuana use, and 11.4% admitted using synthetic marijuana.
Advocates of marijuana legalization say that such products would be unnecessary and nonexistent if the real-deal were legalized and regulated. And, the effects of real marijuana are far less frightening.
According to officials, synthetic marijuana can cause negative side effects including: rapid heart rate, agitation, seizures, vomiting, paranoia, loss of physical control, and hallucinations, just to name a few. However, to date, no scientific studies have been conducted on the effect of these substances on the human brain.
Though you can currently find many versions of Spice sold at convenience stores and “party stores” in the area, many versions remain illegal.
Whatever drug you are accused of possessing, whether it’s cocaine, marijuana, or Spice, you face serious repercussions if convicted. Contact our offices today to discuss your case and what can be done.