New State Law Bans Sale of Synthetic Stimulants Starting June 1

Effective Wednesday, June 1, 2011, a new state law will ban the sale of synthetic cannabinoids (K2) and other synthetic stimulants such as mephedrone and methyenedioxyprovalerone (MDPV). Senate Bill 7 Add Controlled Substances, adopted March 16, 2011 and signed the next day by Governor Perdue, bans the sale of the substances which have been marketed as innocuous items like “incense” or “bath salts” in convenience stores and other shops.

Child advocacy groups and law enforcement agencies supported the ban, which will affect products with brand names like “Silver Spic,” “Diamond Spice,” “Yakatan Fire Spice,” “PEP Spice,” and “Fire ‘n Ice.” Synthetic stimulants also have been sold legally as bath salts or plant food with various names including “Ivory Wave,” “Bliss,” and “White Lightning.”

“These products have been marketed and sold legally but their intent is to get users high by smoking or snorting the product,” said State Health Director Jeffrey Engel, MD. “Our concern is the potential for dangerous side effects, such as hallucinations, possible seizures and rapid heart rate. Some states have even seen deaths related to these products.”

Preliminary studies indicate that synthetic marijuana substances like K2 have three to 100 times more potent than THC, the active ingredient found in marijuana. Producers spray cannabinoid onto flowers, herbs and tobacco, and then sell it in stores as potpourri or incense and label it as “not for human consumption.”

In 2010, there were more than 100 emergency department visits related to synthetic cannabinoids, with the majority of patients being young people ages 13-24.  The N.C. Poison Control Center also reported an increased call volume due to synthetic drugs.

Read a news release from the NC Department of Health and Human Services, which was issued when the bill was passed by the General Assembly.

 
 

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