Talk to any emergency room physician about synthetic marijuana and they’ll
have strange stories about young people coming into their hospital acting
violent and confused. While many of these individuals had positive drug
tests, the degree of confusion and violence demonstrated was much greater
than ER doctors anticipated.
After these patients were sedated for a few days, they began telling stories
about what led them to the hospital, and these stories all involved the
use of synthetic marijuana. Despite the similar name, this new designer
drug is quite different from the time-tested marijuana we’re all
Hospitals across the nation have seen a spike in patients suffering from
adverse side effects of synthetic marijuana. In April of 2015, 160 people
visited New York hospitals in a little over a week due to synthetic pot,
and Alabama public health officials said that nearly 100 people were hospitalized
due to synthetic marijuana between March and April, according to
U.S. News & World Report.
Street Names Include ‘Spice’ and ‘K2’
Synthetic marijuana is known by a dozen or so street names, including “Spice”
and “K2.” It can be purchased for as little as $5, and unlike
drugs such as cocaine or heroin, it’s not made out of just one chemical.
It can be made from as many as 100 different chemicals, mostly made in
China and Pacific Rim countries and sprayed onto dried, shredded plant
materials. All of the synthetic chemicals used to make synthetic marijuana
are illegal to possess, use and sell in the United States.
The attraction to
Spice or K2 is that it’s cheap, widely available and produces an intense high.
But the fact that it’s not real marijuana is what makes unsuspecting
users, many of whom are young, wrongfully believe that the drug is safe.
Adverse effects of Spice:
- Extreme anxiety
- Heart attack
- High blood pressure
- Chest pain
- Kidney failure
Since there’s no antidote to synthetic marijuana, doctors can only
treat the complications and hope the patient eventually makes it through
their acute confused state without causing too much harm to themselves
Synthetic marijuana is illegal under state and federal law; since synthetic
cannabinoids and stimulants are criminalized under the federal
Controlled Substances Act, an individual
can be found guilty of driving under the influence of Spice. Driving under the influence of
drugs (including synthetic marijuana) can be found under
Section 23152(f) of the California Vehicle Code.
Additionally, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) classifies
synthetic marijuana as an “emerging drug threat.” To learn
more about this, scroll down
this page and read the section on
synthetic cannabinoids. In light of all this information, the message we’d like to leave
about “K2” or “Spice” is that it can lead to incarceration, a
DUI, or even death.
Arrested for a
Contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. for a free case evaluation with an Orange County DUI attorney!