K2, or “Spice,” is making news again as eleven states have now banned the substance or are currently considering bans. K2, which can be acquired online or at certain convenience stores and head shops, is generally marketed as incense. However, the herb contains a synthetic chemical that is said to mimic “a marijuana high when it’s smoked.”
According to reports, K2 is most popular among teenagers and college students – particularly because the herbs are easily attainable and offer a legal marijuana-like high. However, USA Today reports that cases of sickened K2 users have recently increased. 352 cases in 35 states have been reported since the first week of February.
While the DEA is still “in the early stages of trying to figure out how potent [K2] is,” one Illinois Representative insists, “It can be more potent than marijuana” and believes K2 could lead to an “epidemic.”
While such assertions seem premature – and even comical – many states are now taking it upon themselves to ban the substance. Kansas and Kentucky already have bans in place and Alabama’s K2 ban goes into effect the first of July. Meanwhile, Georgia, Missouri and Tennessee await their governors’ approval for bans to become law and Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, New Jersey and New York are considering legislation to ban the substance.
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