Dr. Donald Williamson, state health officer, will sign an emergency order making the possession or sale of chemical compounds typically found in synthetic marijuana substances unlawful. The substances will be placed under Schedule I of the Alabama Controlled Substances List effective on Oct. 24.
The Alabama Department of Public Health heard testimony at a public hearing on Sept. 19 on concerns about synthetic marijuana products known by the common street names of “Spice,” “K2 incense” and others. These psychoactive herbal and chemical substances have been sold in a variety of stores and marketed online as herbal incense or potpourri.
Persons commenting at the hearing expressed concern that there is a misconception by those who purchase the substances that they are safe because of the way they are packaged and sold at a variety of retail outlets.
“These substances have been wrongly presented as a safe and legal alternative to marijuana,” Dr. Williamson said. “By supporting regulations outlawing their possession and sale, we want the public to be aware of the toxic effects and other dangers associated with synthetic marijuana use.”