Researchers at the American Psychiatric Association are now saying that synthetic marijuana, which is known by brand names such as "Spice" or "K2," can cause extended psychosis in some users.
Ten patients, ages 21 to 25, were hospitalized for such symptoms at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego. In most cases, symptoms like hallucinations and suicidal thoughts subsided after a few days, but some patients' conditions persisted for months.
None of this should be surprising to those who read the Indy's cover story "Incense Nonsense" back on July 22, 2010. That story pointed to the severe mental and physical impacts of the drug, even referencing one young man who died while using Spice.
Since the article ran, a lot has changed. The following information from a March blog of mine references at least some of those changes:
The federal Drug Enforcement Administration has outlawed five of the chemicals most commonly used to make a drug known as “Spice” or “K2.”
The drug is usually sold as incense and was available over-the-counter at head shops and gas stations in Colorado, under names including Colorado Chronic. However, Spice has long been deemed illegal in other countries and more recently in several states, as well as branches of the military. In January, the Air Force Academy announced that it was investigating 25 cadets for using the drug.
Spice is an unregulated mix of chemicals that is intended to mimic the effects of marijuana ... The DEA has outlawed the drugs in Spice under a 12-month emergency order.
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