Over a span of five days, nearly 120 people have been treated in Dallas and Austin for overdoses of a synthetic marijuana called K2. Although the effects of K2 are supposed to mimic that of marijuana, possible side-effects of the drug can be wide-ranging and are not fully understood. Patients treated for overdoses were described as “so sick they had to be sedated.”
Police have confirmed that the cases in Austin and Dallas are connected and believe the drug originated with the same Dallas supplier. Regulation of K2 and other synthetic marijuana blends, often referred to as “spice,” is difficult because manufacturers constantly change the ingredients to stay one step ahead of regulation. In Texas, individual compounds have been banned, but there is no current law which regulates synthetic marijuana outright.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the term “spice” or synthetic marijuana refers to “a wide variety of herbal mixtures that produce experiences similar to marijuana (cannabis).” Other names for spice include K2, fake weed, Yucatan Fire, Skunk, Moon Rocks and others. Furthermore: