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What supposedly gives you a high, is legal and is hard to detect with drug testing? A synthetic form of marijuana called spice, genie, or K2. It can also land you in the hospital or give you tremors or seizures, but these warnings are often drowned out by hype over a legal high. That is until state lawmakers make K2 illegal, as they have already done in several states. This week, Missouri became the sixth state to ban the use of K2.
K2, according to CBS News, reportedly provides a marijuana-like high. However, it can be up to 15 times more powerful than marijuana and lead to a disturbing range of symptoms, according to Dr. Gaylor Lopez, director of the Georgia Poison Center. Poison control centers have seen a recent rash in calls about K2. CBS reports that nationwide, more than 500 people have phoned poison centers about the drug already this year, up from just 12 calls last year.
Since the drug can be marketed as incense or bath salts, the DEA is currently running tests to try to figure out what is actually in it and whether it should be considered a controlled substance. Six states have not waited on the federal government and have already banned the drug. K2 is currently illegal in Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana and Missouri. Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey and New York are also considering a ban on K2.
K2 has already been banned in Britain, Germany, Poland and France.
"It's like a dream come true for an addict," Jason Schmider, a K2 drug user, told CBS. Schmider tried the drug more than 50 times until he wound up in the hospital, he said. Like any other drug, overuse can clearly lead to the hospital, rehab, or as more states pass laws against it, jail.