Officials: Synthetic pot dangerous for users

State officials say synthetic pot caused more than 1,900 emergency room visits and nearly 700 calls to poison control centers between April and June. That's

Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to ban synthetic pot that carries street names like

Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to ban synthetic pot that carries street names like "Spice," "K2" and "Smacked." (7/22/15)

WANTAGH - State officials say synthetic pot caused more than 1,900 emergency room visits and nearly 700 calls to poison control centers between April and June.

That's 10 times more than the same period last year.

The product is commonly marketed as incense or potpourri. It's sold under names like "spice" and "K2."  While some of the packaging says it's not for human consumption, police and drug experts say people are smoking it to get high.

"This is just a whole bunch of compounds in the crudest form being mixed up in a bucket somewhere and kids have no idea how their body is going to react," says Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds of the Family and Children's Association.

Several states, including New York, have bans on some of the synthetic substances used to make the product. Drug counselors say manufacturers evade the bans by making small changes to the formula.

The synthetic marijuana doesn't show up in most drug tests because there's no actual drug in it. New York is now moving to expand its current ban to outlaw the new formulas.

 

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