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What North Carolina Residents Should Know About Synthetic Pot

Synthetic Marijuana is a drug that has been around for about a decade. It mimics the high of regular marijuana but does not contain the same chemicals. Synthetic pot goes by several names including "Genie," "K2," and "Spice."

The drug has gained a lot of attention in the last couple years. A federal attempt to outlaw its use has so far been unsuccessful but more states are beginning to ban synthetic pot. It is currently legal in this state but North Carolina lawmakers have just announced a new bill that would change that. If it passes, any resident who buys, sells, or possesses synthetic marijuana could face drug charges.

There are conflicting reports about the actual physical effects of synthetic pot. There is not enough research data to conclude that it is harmful or even psychoactive. However, in the last two years the Carolina Poison Center in Charlotte has received 165 calls from individuals who claim to have gotten sick after smoking synthetic pot. Lawmakers are using this as evidence that the drug is harmful and should therefore be outlawed.

If the bill passes the ban would go into effect on April 1st. But before anyone decides to rush out and try it, beware. The drug may not be illegal in this state but driving under the influence of synthetic pot will still result in a DUI Charge.

Because the drug is relatively new there is still much we don't understand about synthetic pot. Therefore, the laws can change very quickly at the local and state level. Anyone who chooses to use synthetic pot needs to understand the risk that what is legal today might not be legal tomorrow. Claiming ignorance of the laws will likely not hold up in court, so stay informed. What you don't know can hurt you.

Source: WSOCTV.com, "Fight To Ban Synthetic Pot Gains Ground In NC," 17 January 2011

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