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Rock Hill Considers Ban On Synthetic Marijuana

The Rock Hill City Council tonight will consider banning a synthetic version of marijuana that has grown increasingly popular nationwide. The substance is marketed as a "legal" alternative to pot and sold under brand names including Spice and K2. Rock Hill Police Chief John Gregory says synthetic marijuana is now available in gas stations and smoke shops throughout the city, but has not yet resulted in a rash of emergency room visits. "We are trying to get ahead of it because the research we've done has shown this synthetic version of marijuana is more potent and can do long-term damage to your brain," says Gregory. He's eager to see Rock Hill become the first city in South Carolina to ban synthetic marijuana, following the lead of numerous cities and states nationwide. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is in the process of making synthetic marijuana a regulated drug illegal for recreational use. Tune to Morning Edition Tuesday, January 25, for the story of the Clemson University chemist who invented the compound now being sold as a marijuana substitute.