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KTLA: "Spice" Becomes Alternative to Marijuana-- Mary Beth McDade reports

  1. Terrapinzflyer
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    A new entry has been added to News Coverage Videos About Drugs

    Legal Marijuana "Knockoff" Has Authorities Worried

    HOLLYWOOD -- Is it a clever way around the law, or just a knock-off form of marijuana?

    It's called "spice," and it's legal in California -- it can be purchased at many smoke shops.

    It's made up of dozens of herbs, and has historically been used for aroma therapy, according to Shrini Partha, owner of Black Mist, a smoke shop in Hollywood.

    Users say spice the same high as marijuana, and it's ignited a craze among those craving to smoke cannabis legally.

    Partha said his smoke shop gets at least 10 to 15 customers looking for spice daily.

    But spice is potentially more dangerous than pot.

    Doctors say it may make you feel good, but it's not exactly good for you, especially because it contains a synthetic psychoactive substance found in designer drugs.

    "Designer drugs have caused in the past everything from Parkinson's Disease, migraine headaches, muscle wasting diseases, heart attacks, strokes, blood clots in the legs, severe rashes and even respiratory failure," according to Dr. Michael Hirt, a local physician.

    And, while spice may be legal, it can still land you in trouble with law enforcement if you get behind the wheel.

    "After ingesting it, if a person's going to display the same objective symptoms of marijuana, they can be arrested for DUI," said Sgt. Dawn-Amber McCallum of the Los Angeles Police Department.

    KTLA News
    10:01 AM PST, February 13, 2010


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