People breaking the law to get legal drug

Spice

July 23, 2010 9:06:25 PM PDT
A legal drug that police and scientists call fake marijuana is causing some people in the Heart of Carolina to break the law to get it.A Raleigh smoke shop owner tells ABC11 Eyewitness News that police warned him about people wanting to steal "K2" also known as "Spice," because they want to get high.

It's a potpourri-like mixture treated with synthetic chemicals and herbs found in THC the main ingredient in marijuana. Users call it K2 or Spice, but police call it trouble.

Cumberland County authorities say they are seeing its first cases.

"We've seen a rise in the number of break-ins that are apparently targeting this particular product which is sort of a side-effect of having the drug available." said Dan Grubb with the Fayetteville Police Department.

Detectives are investigating a number of recent cases across Cumberland County with the latest happening Thursday in Fayetteville at a tobacco mini-mart on Bragg Boulevard.

Authorities say the suspect broke in and stole an undetermined amount of Spice.

"Over the last couple of weeks, we've had two or three --at least two or three break-ins in this area," Grubb said.

Right now, Spice is legal in North Carolina and most other states, but lawmakers in Alabama and Louisiana are looking into banning it. Currently, Kansas is the only state that's banned K2. It's also banned in most of Europe.

"It makes you feel stoned, it makes you feel a little sleepy, a little dreamy, it can make your heart rate go up a little bit, your blood pressure go up a little bit," Duke Pharmacology Professor Dr. Cynthia Kuhn said.

Kuhn says it's addictive and its inconsistent ingredients make K2 even more dangerous.

"I teach college," Kuhn said. "I don't like the idea of a drug that people use every single day and when they're using it every day it makes them stupid."

Three grams can cost $30 to $40.

All of the smoke shops on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh sell it, but none wanted to talk about it because of the stigma attached to it.

"Most of the people that use K2 or Spice are trying to get the marijuana-like high that comes from the original," Grubb said.

As of now, the FDA has done limited research on the drug.

Authorities say they are concerned about teens getting their hands on it and want parents to be aware of the drug.

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