The fight to control and outlaw synthetic marijuana is growing. In another blow to producers of the herbal mixtures (treated with chemicals that mimic the active ingredient THC), Georgia’s governor signed a bill that makes the sale of all synthetic marijuana illegal.
Governor Deal is quoted as stating that there has been a dramatic “increase in instances of violence, bodily harm, and death…” arising from the use of these synthetic marijuana mixtures.
Georgia and other states have been in a cat and mouse game as legislation is written to outlaw a particular formula. The result of such laws has led producers to reconfigure the chemical composition placing the synthetic marijuana outside the parameters of the law. In 2011, the DEA reclassified several synthetic compound substances as Schedule I which places them under strict regulation.
Across the nation synthetic marijuana known by many names such as Spice or K2 have been sold in gas stations and convenience stores as a product not fit for human consumption, therefore passing many regulations.
Young people are smoking the synthetic marijuana believing the product is safe because it has been sold legally in stores. The debate about legalizing naturally grown marijuana has been heating up as synthetic marijuana is grown widespread. One serious problem with the herbal mixtures is the lack of information about what is really in the mixture, what chemicals have been sprayed upon the herbal mixture, and the effects upon the body and brain.
Long term marijuana use is addictive, creating serious and difficult to manage withdrawal symptoms. The side effects of synthetic marijuana are not as clearly documented, but ER rooms and the poison hotlines around the country have seen a drastic increase in the last few years from people needing help after ingesting synthetic marijuana. Detox and drug rehab programs are then required to help the abuser learn to live without using marijuana, negotiate his or her feelings, and manage cravings.
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