This archived article was written by: Tadd Mecham
A new drug has gained popularity in the Utah. But what sets this one apart from other illegal substances is that it is in fact completely legal, It’s a substance referred to as spice.
Spice, also identified by various other names such as: K2, Bliss and Bombay Blue, is a substance not meant for human consumption but instead meant to be used as incense. However, its popularity has sky rocketed in the last two years when it was discovered that by smoking spice it can produce a high, similar to that of marijuana.
While marijuana contains THC (or tetrahydrocannabinol), an illegal component and the drugs main psychoactive component, spice is spiked with THC analogs (a sort of synthetic THC). This is what gives spice a similar feel to its illegal comparison.
So youth would naturally be intrigued, seeing it as a completely legal alternative to pot. It gives many of the same feelings and symptoms of being high on marijuana. Users still get the same high and also the things that come after such as the munchies and glazed over red eyes.
This sounds too good to be true for the drug users of the U.S. Getting high without worrying about being subject to punishment by the law. This hot new drug can be bought at any smoke shop or convenience store for anywhere from $13 to $26 a gram. But the truth is that spice is beginning to be considered more dangerous than marijuana.
While the herbs that make up spice are relatively mild, it is the added chemicals that pose the threat. While it is laced with numerous synthetic cannabinoids, there are also a great amount of other chemicals put into it. So most users have no idea what they are putting into their bodies.
Spice has a variety of negative side-effects that marijuana does not. These include reactions such as: anxiety attacks, hallucinations, nausea and chemical dependency.
Spice has also been the suspect behind numerous hospitalizations and possibly even a few deaths. Three teens in Georgia were admitted into a hospital after using spice; one suffered a severe reaction resulting in swelling of the brain. The speculation that spice may be linked to several deaths seems to be a legitimate claim, but no coroner reports have confirmed this suspicion.
While spice has been slipping under the radar in the U.S. as far as its legality, in Europe it’s a completely different story. Spice was big in Europe in the 1990s and garnered quite a list of countries that banned it. Germany, France and the U.K. are just a few of the countries that outlawed the substance for its incredibly dangerous side-effects.
At the moment, it is legal to consume spice, but it is definitely not a wise decision. The threat of being hospitalized hanging over someone’s head just to get high should be more than enough to keep them away. But in some cases that just isn’t enough.
It is only a matter of time until spice becomes just another drug labeled as illegal. And it seems as though that happening wouldn’t be bad thing at all.