Thursday, December 2, 2010

Synthetic Marijuana Banned in Michigan

I once heard someone say, “In my day, we didn’t have the same danger with alcohol and drugs as we do today.” However, the danger and distraction of alcohol use and drug use has no timetable. Recently there has been an array of articles on legal substances that have negatively impacted the lives of college students. Among these substances is a drink containing a mixture of alcohol and caffeine: a really bad combination.

On Thursday, October 1, Governor Jennifer Granholm signed a bill banning JWH 18, salvia, KAT and BZP. Michigan is now the 11th state to pass legislation banning these substances. JWH 18 is a type of synthetic marijuana that is sprayed on a natural substance to form K2. K2 has been known to have several side effects when ingested, including an elevated heart rate, paranoia, and joint aches, in addition to panic attacks, vomiting and increased anxiety. KAT and salvia are both naturally grown leaves; which one is a stimulant and the other is a psychedelic. BZP is also classified as a stimulant. These now-illegal substances were formerly sold in stores as incense or potpourri under names like Spice, Genie, Zohai, or K2 but, when smoked, provided a high similar to that of marijuana.

There are safety and health safety issues with the use of these substances. The new law defines K2 as a Schedule 1 drug, which means that it has a potential to cause a high risk of dependency and has no known medicinal purposes. Simple possession or use of K2 would be a misdemeanor punishable by a fine and time in jail. If you know anyone who possesses these drugs, please notify the local police department to have these substances destroyed.

Learn more about this Public Health Code or Section MCL 333.7212.

-Contributed by Officer Rojeilio Castillo in the Office of Public Safety

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