Texas Senate votes to ban synthetic marijuana

AUSTIN, TX The bill by Sen. Florence Shapiro of Plano bans new chemical compounds that mimic the main active ingredient in marijuana. The chemicals are often sprayed on herbs and sold to be burned as incense or smoked. Some popular names include K2, Spice, Genie and Fire & Ice.

The drugs have become popular with teens, particularly in North Texas. Shapiro says taking them can create severe problems, including hallucinations, elevated heart rates, chest pains and seizures. The Texas Poison Center Network received more than 550 calls related to the drugs in 2010.

A bill now goes to the House, where a similar bill is pending.

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