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Kids getting high on 'spice'

Several Leesburg teens have used a common incense product to get high in recent weeks, according to the Leesburg police department.

The product, which is legal, is known as K2 and commonly referred to as "spice." It is a combination of herbs and spices produced in China and Korea, police said. The herbs are sprayed with a synthetic compound similar to THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. Several local teens smoked the herbs to get high, according to Leesburg police officer Wesley Thompson. One of the cases led to an overdose requiring hospitalization, he said.

"This started with the under 18 crowd, but I'm sure that the over 18s are looking at it too now, since it's legal," Thompson said.

The product is sold at smaller convenience stores around town, Thompson said. Use of the product is reported to cause sleepiness, relaxation, and reduced blood pressure, according to police. At higher doses, K2 can cause hallucinations and delusions.

The symptoms are similar to those associated with marijuana use: "Dilated pupils, exaggerated movements, lack of coordination," Thompson said.

K2 has been seen in other parts of the region, police said, but the recent cases were the first reported in Leesburg. During the first nine months of 2010, the American Association of Poison Control Centers reported over 1,500 overdoses nationally resulting from use of K2, according to police.

While there are no current regulations regarding the sale or use of the product in Virginia. Leesburg Police Chief Joseph Price said he plans to encourage legislation that would make the substance illegal. Police say have also asked merchants in Leesburg to voluntarily stop selling the product and are encouraging parents to prevent their children from purchasing K2.

More information about K2 can be found at the American Association of Poison Control Centers Web site.

-- Caitlin Gibson

By Washington Post editors  | October 15, 2010; 3:13 PM ET
Categories:  Loudoun  
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Comments

K2/Spice/Mr. Weedy (or whatever brandname it is being sold as) is not an incense. The article seems to imply that it was originally sold as incense and then teens discovered it would get you high. This product was created soley to get you high. Calling it incense not for human consumption is just a legalistic ruse to protect the sellers. Even though it is not a scheduled DEA drug, it could still be deemed illegal because it would fall under the definition of an inhalant.

Posted by: buffysummers | October 15, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

So, K2 "...causes sleepiness, relaxation, and reduced blood pressure..." If K2 were sponsored by BigPharma, we'd already be seeing the television commercials: "Ask your doctor if K2 is right for you."

Posted by: junk3 | October 15, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Thinning the herd. Let 'em do it.

While we're at it, same with coke, smack, and weed, too. People so unhappy with life that they need substances shouldn't be able to breed. Like Christine O'Donnell.

Posted by: bs2004 | October 15, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

I've tried Spice. It's effects are amazingly similar to cannabis. However, there is a plateau of intoxication with cannabis that does not exist with Spice and a person can easily become incapacitated and sick. But no one would be using this, nor would it have been invented in a lab just a few years ago if cannabis was not Schedule I

Posted by: overdrive_68 | October 16, 2010 1:43 AM | Report abuse

I've heard that over-indulging in the Spice is staining the children's eyes blue. Is this true?!

Posted by: wordup1 | October 16, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Those aged 18-24 are also adults and not "kids" or "teens", meaning they shouldn't be called those words. If someone wants to get high on K2, then I say let them get high on K2 on their property. Joseph Price is encouraging oppression so people who care for freedom, especially libertarians like me, libertarian who are liberal or conservative, should not accept Joseph Price's solution towards K2.

Posted by: LibertyForAll | October 16, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

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