The nation’s capital has joined more than 40 states in calling for a ban on synthetic marijuana and bath salts, a pair of drug genres that have raised eyebrows among law enforcement, parents and antidrug advocates alike because of their off-the-shelf accessibility and frightening effects.
For almost half a decade, different forms of synthetic marijuana and bath salts have been making their way into (and out of) convenience and tobacco stores.
While voters in Colorado and Washington state decided this month to legalize small amounts of naturally growing marijuana, an increasing number of lawmakers have decided in recent years to ban drugs that incorporate a hodgepodge of man-made ingredients, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
The drugs targeted by the new laws include synthetic cannabinoids with product names such as “K2” or “Spice” and substituted cathinones, or “bath salts,” which initially were suspected in a high-profile May 26 attack in Miami on a homeless man whose face was practically eaten off before police shot his attacker.
These synthetic compounds have been responsible for countless stories involving zombie like behavior. It is said that these substances can raise the body temperature to a point where the brain begins to malfunction, leaving only the basic most primary instincts
The Drug Enforcement Administration describes synthetic marijuana as a mix of herbs and spices that are sprayed with a synthetic substance similar to THC, the psychoactive ingredient in traditional marijuana. It is often marked as incense but can be smoked and causes “seizures, paranoia, panic attacks and giddiness, shortness of breath, and countless other side effects” the agency says.
Although these substances attack the brain in a similar way to their natural counterparts, they are far more aggressive in doing so.