Ban On Fake Marijuana Now In Effect

WASHINGTON (CBS4) — Effective Tuesday, the sale of synthetic marijuana is no longer legal. The Drug Enforcement Administration filed a final notice Monday that the chemicals used in so-called incense will be banned for sale for at least a year. The agency says the action is necessary “to avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety.”

The fake marijuana, sold in drug paraphernalia shops and on the Internet, is marketed under various brands including Spice, K2, Blaze, Mr. Nice Guy and Red X Dawn. The products contain organic leaves coated with chemicals that provide a marijuana-like high when smoked.

Federal drug officials announced plans for the emergency measure in November, amid increasing reports of bad reactions to the chemicals — including seizures, hallucinations, agitation, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, racing heart beat, elevated blood pressure and dependency. “Fake pot” has already been banned in 18 states and several countries. All five branches of the U.S. military prohibit military personnel from possessing or using them.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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