Germany Bans Cannabis-Like Drug Spice
Germany has banned the cannabis-like drug Spice because of its potential danger to health, an announcement by the ministry of health said Wednesday.
Manufacturing, possession and dealing in the drug will be a criminal offence from Thursday, the statement said. Spice has enjoyed growing popularity among young people in Germany where it has been sold as a natural herbal mixture, thus circumventing anti-drug laws.
But tests showed some Spice products contained the potentially harmful chemical called CP-47.497, which has the same effects as the natural psychoactive substance in cannabis, but is up to four times stronger. Other Spice-like products, like 'Smoke' & 'Genie' contained the drug JWH-018.
"Spice is not harmless and needs to be withdrawn from circulation quickly," said Health Minister Ulla Schmidt.
Drug Commissioner Sabine Baetzing said it had been proven that the manufacturers of Spice had laced the natural herbs with a synthetic narcotic drug.
"Selling Spice as a harmless smoking fragrance is fraudulent," she said.
Tests have shown that smoking the drug can cause hallucinations and lead to undesirable side affects such as panic attacks and nausea.
Various Cp 47.497 analogs and JWH-018 have been classified as a controlled substance. A second law also classified the products Genie and Smoke as medicines. The medicine ban, which carries a fine for those who ignore it, will remain in force for 12 months until a more permanent law is introduced.
DPA news agency (nda)
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Germany bans Spice after finding CP 47.497 analog as active drug