NC Lawmakers Consider Banning Synthetic Marijuana
North Carolina lawmakers are supporting a plan to outlaw a synthetic version of marijuana that's gained popularity across the country. It's called Spice or K2. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is in the process of making K2 illegal and many states have banned it. North Carolina is the latest to go down that path. A state Senate committee has voted to impose penalties similar to marijuana on those who posses or sell K2. John Huffman is the chemist who first made the compound as part of a research project at Clemson University. He says people who smoke it are idiots, but he thinks it'll do no good to ban Spice, or in DEA speak classify it as Schedule 1, because there are 400 variations of it that people could start using. "Of course the problem is that they've only made four or five compounds Schedule 1 and there's a bunch of them out there," says Huffman. Spice is five times as potent as marijuana. It has prompted hundreds of calls to poison control and has landed people in the hospital with racing hearts and dangerously high blood pressure.