K2, synthetic marijuana banned in state of Texas
HOUSTON Synthetic marijuana has been banned in communities across the country and now the state of Texas is taking a hard stance against it. The Texas Department of State Health Services has now classified K2, Spice, and other synthetic marijuana products as a controlled substance -- making it illegal to manufacture, distribute, possess and sell the substance. Effective April 22, it will be a class A or B misdemeanor. K2 or Spice, often marketed as herbal incense, contain substances that produce psychoactive effects similar to those from smoking marijuana. These marijuana-like substances are readily available through smoke shops, gas stations and the Internet. Persons found guilty of a Class A misdemeanor are subject to a fine not to exceed $4,000 and/or confinement in jail for a term not to exceed one year. Persons found guilty of a Class B misdemeanor are subject to a fine not to exceed $2,000 and/or confinement in jail for a term not to exceed 180 days. Since January 2010, approximately 600 calls were made to the Texas Poison Center Network related to K2 exposure. Reported adverse effects associated with use of these marijuana-like substances include chest pain, heart palpitations, agitation, drowsiness, hallucinations, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and confusion.