States Act to Ban Synthetic Marijuana, a.k.a. "Spice"

This week, both the Washington Post and the New York Times have reported on the growing popularity of "spice," the generic term for a legal synthetic substitute for the active ingredient in marijuana.  Sold in many locations as packages of incense, the herbal mixture is coated with a chemical that causes some of the same effects of marijuana. 

Because it is marketed as incense and not for human consumption, sellers have so far avoided federal regualtion.  The product, which is sold largely under the brand name K2, cannot be detected by drug screening.

In March, Kansas became the first state to ban the sale of the synthetic marijuana, followed by Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Hawaii, Missouri, and Tennessee.  Similar bans are pending in at least six other states, including Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, New Jersey, New York and Ohio.