Spice drug now illegal at Stewart, across the Army
March 31, 2011
FORT STEWART, Ga. - There's a drug popular with teens, military personnel, and civilians in the U.S.
That drug is called Spice.
This drug, also known as "K2" is said to give the user a marijuana-like high. It is sold in shops and online as incense, and is being smoked as an alternative to marijuana. The drug appears to have far more dangerous side-effects and consumers have no idea what they're really getting.
Spice originally appeared on the scene in the late 1990s, but didn't really become popular until 2008. As the drug gained popularity in Europe, scientists began conducting research into the composition of this drug and any potential effects on the body. Many countries subsequently banned Spice including Germany, France, Chile, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, and the U.K. Spice contains a variety of synthetic cannabinoids, which are chemical compounds devised to produce marijuana-like effects.
There is a high quantity of other synthetic chemicals found as well, indicating that a user really has no way of knowing what they are being exposed to. Worse yet, Spice appears to have many negative side effects that marijuana does not, such as anxiety attacks, hallucinations, nausea, and a chemical dependency. Three teenagers in Roswell, Ga., were recently hospitalized after using Spice. One teen had a severe reaction to the drug, resulting in swelling of the brain.
Poison Centers nationwide have reported 352 cases in 35 states since the initial report, he said.
Patients often have a rapid heart rate, dangerously high blood pressure and sometimes hallucinations or paranoia. Fifteen states have banned the drug. It's often sold under the guise of incense, and the packaging warns buyers that it is not for human consumption.
The DEA sent out a notice to alert the public and storeowners of the ban. Stores had until Dec. 24, 2010, to clear their shelves, and anyone found in possession of Spice after the deadline will face punishment similar to that of those found in possession of cocaine.
The Army's views on Spice
On Feb. 10, 2011 a memorandum from the Secretary of the Army was distributed, clearly prohibiting Spice and any variations from being used by the active army, the National Guard of the United States when in Title 10 status, and the U.S. Army Reserve. It also states that any violation of the policy may result in punitive actions against servicemember.
Synthetic cannabis and other THC substitutes have no known application other than mimicking the effects of THC in the human body. Synthetic cannabis and THC substitutes are so closely related in action to THC as to make it obvious that synthetic cannabis and THC substitutes will have the same potential for abuse as THC. It is, therefore, reasonable to assume that synthetic cannabis and THC substitutes have substantial capabilities of creating hazards to the mission of the Army, the health of the user and to the safety of the Army community.
Soldiers are prohibited from, using, possessing, manufacturing, selling, distributing, importing into or exporting from the United States, or introducing into any installation, vessel, vehicle, or aircraft use by or under the control of the Army.
On March 1, the Drug Enforcement Administration, temporarily placed 5 Synthetic Cannabinoids into the Schedule 1, thus making it illegal in the United States.