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‘Spice’ To Be Banned Nationwide

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"Spice" is a synthetic, legal form of marijuana labeled "not for human consumption," but young people are smoking it to get high. (credit: CBS)

“Spice” is a synthetic, legal form of marijuana labeled “not for human consumption,” but young people are smoking it to get high. (credit: CBS)

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DENVER (CBS4) – It’s already banned in 16 states. In 30 days, products sold as synthetic marijuana will be illegal nationwide.

The Drug Enforcement Agency said it is temporarily banning five chemicals used to make the drug, also known as “Spice,” “K2,” or “Mamba.”

The high is compared to marijuana, except “It doesn’t show up on your urine analysis, so you don’t f-up on your job or anything,” said one user on hidden camera.

Spice is sold over the counter at tobacco and head shops, and some convenience stores.

The DEA filed an emergency ban. In 30 days, it will be illegal to posses, sell or manufacture Spice.

The push comes after an increased amount of reports from poison control and emergency rooms regarding the products.

“I just get very disgusted just looking at it, ’cause I know what it’s doing to the kids. It’s harmful to their bodies,” said Stella Rivera, a mother who has experience with the adverse side effects.

Her son ended up in the hospital after smoking spice.

“He was just holding his head. He had a bad headache, he couldn’t stand it,” said Rivera.

Spice is marketed as incense, but it is sprayed with chemicals that mimic the effect of marijuana.

“What they’re not telling the people using it that they are putting these chemicals on the herbs,” said DEA agent Kevin Merrill.

Because it’s not regulated, every container differs in strength and effects. Special agents said Spice is 800 times more potent than THC, the chemical found in marijuana.

The ban will make possessing and selling Spice illegal for at least one year.

The DEA will use the time to study whether these chemicals and products should be banned permanently.

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