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  1. Terrapinzflyer
    Governor signs bill to outlaw synthetic marijuana

    Gov. Sonny Perdue today announced that he has signed a bill to outlaw K2, also known as synthetic marijuana.

    The substance sold at some local smoke shops became a subject of concern in March after two teens were hospitalized at North Fulton Medical Center with ill effects from smoking it. K2, also known as "spice," mimics the effects of THC, the chemical in marijuana.

    Nearly a dozen states and some cities are banning or debating bans on K2 out of fear that its popularity may be on the rise among young people, according to USA Today.

    HB 1309 in Georgia was sponsored by Rep. Jay Neal (R-Lafayette) and Sen. Ed Harbison (D-Columbus).

    “K2 is a potent drug that can be difficult to detect,” said Perdue. “Adding it to our state’s banned substances list will protect Georgians’ safety and health.”

    By Andria Simmons
    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution


  1. bananaskin
    Georgia bans K2 synthetic marijuana

    Governor Sonny Perdue announced on Monday that he has signed a bill to outlaw the use and sales of synthetic marijuana (K2) in Georgia.

    H.B. 1309 places the drug on Schedule I controlled substances list right along Heroin and above Cocaine, Ritalin and Opium which are all on Schedule II list. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Jay Neal (R-Lafayette) and Sen. Ed Harbison (D-Columbus).
    K2, also knows as “fake weed, “Spice,” Genie,” or “Zohai,’ is a legally sold herb coated with a synthetic chemical that mimics similar “high” to marijuana's when smoked. The “Genie” is usually marketed as a spice or an incense, and is easily accessible online, in some convenience stores and spiritual and herbal shops. It can cost as much as $35 per ounce.

    "Clemson University organic chemist John W. Huffman created the K2 compound in the mid-1990s to mimic the effects of cannabis on the brain." (links removed)

    Side effects of the drug include rapid heart rate, very high blood pressure, hallucinations, seizures, vomiting and paranoia. K2 attacks cardiovascular and central nervous systems. It is used mostly by young people who are hoping for a marijuana-like high. However, researches claim the drug does the exact opposite and causes sever agitation instead of the mellow effect of marijuana.

    Atlanta has reported about 12 cases in recent months.” K2 is a potent drug that can be difficult to detect,” said Governor Perdue. “Adding it to our state’s banned substances list will protect Georgians’ safety and health.”

    But the abuse of the substance is not a problem reserved to Georgia. This past February, a poison center in Missouri notified centers nationwide about K2 after they had an influx of patients with serious health problems resulting from the use of the drug.

    "At first we had about a dozen cases, but then it really blossomed. By the first week of April, we had 40 cases," said director of the Missouri Poison Center in St. Louis and a toxicologist at Saint Louis University, Dr. Anthony Scalzo. "Missouri remains the epicenter, but it's spreading out." Scalzo said that nationwide, there have been 352 reported cases of K2 poisoning in 35 states.

    According to USA Today, several cities and a dozen states have either banned the substance or are considering doing so. Kansas banned the drug March 10. Kentucky followed April 13. Alabama's ban takes effect July 1. Legislatures in Missouri and Tennessee have passed bans that will take effect unless vetoed by their governors. Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, New Jersey and New York are considering bills to outlaw the drug.
    The substance has been outlawed in Europe for a while now.

    Ewa Kachanska
    May 25, 2010


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