Ever heard of the drug K2? This type of synthetic marijuana is currently running amok across the continental United States with lawmakers not knowing what to do. K2, also known as Spice, Scoobie snacks, and Mr. Nice Guy has always been a sort of loophole for those looking to get high while in states with marijuana prohibition. Due to the substance being legal, many are using the synthetic drug when traditional cannabis is unavailable.

The problem with K2 is that it is made in a lab with synthetic chemicals. Often, dried plants are sprayed with acetone, embalming fluid, and other solvents that are laced with psychoactive substances. These synthetic chemicals have led to a severe increase in toxic exposures over the last decade. From 2010 – 2015, the Toxic Case Registry reported over 42,000 cases of exposure due to the substance.

The good news is that usage in states with legal cannabis has declined tremendously. Tracy Klein, assistant director for the Center for Cannabis Policy, Research and Outreach at Washington State University in Vancouver said that if a state were to legalize recreational marijuana, K2 usage declines by more than 1/3rd.

Another problem with the drug is that people who need to pass drug tests can do so. Given the lack of the THC compound, many still smoke the substance to feel something all while having the ability to pass said drug test. Tests for K2 are often not used due to the legality of the substance.

Lawmakers have yet to made any significant progress in banning the substance.

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