Synthetic Marijuana Continues To Take Lives (Opposing Views)

By JONATHAN WOLFE | August 1, 2014

Synthetic alternatives to marijuana have flooded the market over the last decade.

The creations, often marketed as “Spice,” “K2,” and “Mr. Smiley,” typically consist of a synthetic cannabinoid sprayed onto a potpourri-like substance. The cannabinoid binds to the same receptors in the brain as THC – the psychoactive component in marijuana – does and voila – users have a way to get high without worrying about drug possession charges or failed drug tests.

The problem, though, is these synthetic cannabinoids are much more dangerous than their natural counterpart. Countless reports have surfaced in recent years (like here, here, here, and here) attributing deaths and hospitalizations to the synthetic compounds — and they’re only getting more dangerous.

Each time the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) bans a known synthetic cannabinoid, black market chemists immediately start concocting a new one.

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