(Sound courtesy of WRHI-Radio in Rock Hill)
It’s marketed as a way to get high. Called, “K2” or “Spice,” it’s a mixture of herbs coated with chemicals that is often sold as “fake marijuana.” However, health experts warn it also leads to rapid heart rates, high blood pressure, and hallucinations.
And it’s perfectly legal in South Carolina. However, one college town is hoping to crack down on its usage.
The Rock Hill City Council will vote Monday night on an ordinance that would ban synthetic marijuana. The product is being discussed for a possible nationwide ban. However, despite a Federal Drug Enforcement Administration move to ban K2 in November, the new regulations are taking longer then expected to write and publish.
The products are legally sold in many convenience stores. Drug officials say they are popular with teens and college students. They are sold for as low as seven dollars.
Winthrop University Police Chief Frank Zebedis says the effects of “fake weed” are worse on the body than real marijuana.
It has a lot of the…after-effects of a hangover. As far as the long-term effects, they really don’t know…because people are just now starting to use it.
The synthetic compound was first created by a Clemson student in 1995. At the time, the student was working under organic chemistry professor John Huffman. Huffman published the findings in the journal of the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics three years later. Manufacturers found the formula, and soon began making their own versions.
Rock Hill would be the first city in South Carolina to ban the drug. The city council was supposed to vote on the first reading two weeks ago, but the meeting was cancelled because of the winter weather that hit the area.
The council will meet at 6pm.