Synthetic marijuana, often called K2, Spice, or fake weed, can be devastating for some users, says the Detroit Free Press. Police believe two young men smoked it before they attacked a Michigan family with baseball bats in April. A teen killed by his grandmother tested positive for the substance, the grandmother’s attorney said. Police blame it for the overdose death of a young local man last weekend. Michigan legislators, police, judges, health professionals, and parents say they’re on a mission to get the products banned. Previous bans on chemicals used to make them were skirted by manufacturers who developed new formulas.
Today, the drugs are easy to find across much of the U.S. Last year, 1 in 9 high school seniors told the Monitoring the Future survey conducted by the University of Michigan that they had used synthetic pot. “We know it’s the tip of the iceberg, that abuse is much more common and hospitalization more common than you can tell by looking at our numbers,” said Dr. Susan Smolinske of the DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan Regional Poison Control Center. The products are made up of plant material, not marijuana, and sprayed with chemicals that mimic THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. It doesn’t show up in many drug tests.