SYNTHETIC CANNABINOIDS: ILLEGAL AND DANGEROUS
BALTIMORE (August 28, 2012) – The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) advises Marylanders that a large number of Synthetic Cannabinoids, known by a variety of names such as “Spice” and “K2,” have been recently added to the federal list of Schedule 1 Controlled Substances. State and local health officials have long expressed concern about these products, which are marijuana-like synthetic compounds linked to potentially severe adverse reactions and abuse.
So far in 2012, the Maryland Poison Control has received 159 calls related to the use of Synthetic Cannabinoids, compared to a total of 151 calls in 2011. More than half of the calls involved individuals age 19 or younger, and the calls have come from 20 of Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions. Four involved admission to an Intensive Care Unit.
“Whether sold on the street or at a convenience store, synthetic cannabinoids pose a threat,” said Frances B. Phillips, Deputy Secretary for Public Health Services. “This is another important topic for parents to discuss with their adolescents in order to protect their health.”
In January 2012, following a public comment period, the Department supported legislation to ban the sale of synthetic cannabinoids in Maryland. The recent federal action accomplishes this goal for Maryland and other states.
Now that the sale of these products is illegal under federal law, the Department urges retailers to remove them from their shelves.
For more information: DEA: Nationwide Synthetic Drug Takedown http://www.justice.gov/dea/pubs/pressrel/pr072612.html
FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin: Synthetic Marijuana http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/law-enforcement-bulletin/may-2012/synthetic-marijuana/
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