3 On Your Side: Spice drug hits metro area - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

3 On Your Side: Spice drug hits metro area

By David Kenney - bio | email

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - It's the latest high for drug users, and it's more available than you think. In recent weeks, the Spice drug has begun appearing in convenience stores and tobacco stores in the Jackson metro area.

It's being used as an alternative to marijuana, but there could be dangers.  It comes in different names, K-2, Gulf Breeze, or Voodoo, and it's being marketed as an incense, but if you smoke it, users say it creates the same high as marijuana.

Spice is a legal form of marijuana, with increasing availability and usage in the state of Mississippi.  It's an herb sprayed with chemicals and isn't intended for smoking, but that's not stopping some.

"They're selling it for somewhere between 20-50 dollars which is relatively inexpensive.  It's not illegal.  It's being marketed as a legal high or a legal weed," said Marshall Fisher, Executive Director of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics.

Spice can't be picked up in a drug test.  It's completely undetectable.  There are no age requirements for someone who wants to buy it, and the chemicals used to make it haven't been approved by the F.D.A., so no one knows what kind of health risks users of the drug are exposing themselves to.

Dr. Robert Cox of the Mississippi Poison Control Center said in the last three months, there have been eight cases of people becoming sick after using Spice in Mississippi.

"There can be seizures, or passing out, hallucinations, bad vertigo, bad forms of dizziness, nausea, vomiting," said Dr. Cox.  "The patients I have treated who have taken this just describe it as a very bad high."

The availability of Spice has some concerned problems arising from using the drug could increase.  We found the drug sold at so many Jackson metro-area convenience stores we lost count.

We found a half a dozen different varieties.  Store clerks we approached refused to go on camera.  Some even snatched the Spice for sale down, hoping we wouldn't see it.

Nationwide, a dozen states have banned it, or are in the process of outlawing it.  In Mississippi, Southhaven and Horn Lake are the only municipalities, with laws on the books making Spice drugs illegal.

The City of Jackson said they're considering laws banning it, which could be the only thing to stop Spice from spreading, and becoming a popular drug.

©2010 WLBT. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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