Spice: Nope, nope and a whole lot more just plain nope

Not long before Sue Vorenberg, this blog’s creator, fled the ailing newspaper industry for a shiny new job at Main Street Marijuana, she wrote a post about spice. In case you haven’t heard about about spice, it’s a dangerous synthetic drug that dubiously passes itself off as a safer alternative to marijuana.

spice memeAnyway, spice made big news in the last week when the Drug Enforcement Administration arrested a Chinese chemist believed to be responsible for making 70 percent of the chemicals used in all spice found in the U.S. The New York Times put together a good story on it and Business Insider’s science reporter made this nice slide show all about spice. Check those out when you get a chance.

Spice is often marketed as “synthetic marijuana,” and sometimes it even comes in packages marked with a cannabis leaf. It’s sold under a variety of names — Moon Rocks, K2, fake weed and Skunk, just to name a few.

It’s green and leafy stuff, and smoking tends to be the most common way to consume the drug, but don’t be mistaken: It’s not marijuana at all. Essentially, spice is a bunch of shredded plant matter sprayed with a stew of psychoactive chemical additives, and the effects can be quite strong.

In some cases, consumption has triggered seizures, psychosis or even killed people. Poison control centers have already fielded thousands of reports this year from people exposed to spice.

Unfortunately, spice is still legal, but don’t believe anyone who tells you it’s a safe alternative to marijuana.

– Justin Runquist