Synthetic Marijuana may not Last Long in PA

The state of Pennsylvania could be on its way to banning synthetic marijuana.

Six states have already made the synthetic marijuana, and many of the chemicals associated with the drug, illegal to distribute and possess. Pennsylvania seems to be following suit. The state’s House Judiciary Committee approved a bill in September making synthetic marijuana illegal. It still has to pass the state Senate, the House of Representatives and get the governor’s signature bef0re it officially becomes a law.

According to the bill, and other states that have already banned synthetic marijuana, it isn’t safe for human consumption and can lead to death.

In a timely signal that synthetic marijuana can have serious consequences, a Shippensburg man crashed his car and injured his passengers New Year’s Day after he smoked K2, a form of the substance, according to police.

If the new bill is passed, the substance and many of the chemical properties found in the drug, won’t be allowed to be marketed even as an herbal incense. Many people have chosen to disregard the fact that the incense’s packaging warns “not for human consumption.”

According to Darrin Donmoyer, Penn Manor’s Student Assistant Program Director, synthetic marijuana is one of the newest drugs being talked about by students.

“It’s legal because it’s so new and the chemicals that they are using to produce it were not outlawed when it first came out,” said Donmoyer. “They’re selling it as ‘herbal incense’ blends.”

The desire to get the high from the drug may lead some to smoke the substance even if other forms of the drug are declared illegal.

The effects of this “fake” drug are headaches, anxiety, high blood pressure, stiff muscles, vomiting, temporary lose of vision, seizures and in some cases non-responsiveness.

“My hope is that students will quickly recognize that it is not a suitable alternative,” said Donmoyer.

He also said that the same help that is offered for other substances is also offered to those who use or are addicted to or are using synthetic marijuana.

The thoughts about synthetic marijuana by some members of the student body showed that many already disapprove of the drug.

“From what I have read, trying that stuff isn’t worth it,” said one student.

“Don’t waste your money…it isn’t worth it,” stated another student.

One student showed major concern towards the health risks.

“It’s even worse than cigarettes because it can put microscopic holes in your lungs after just one use. Imagine using that daily, that would cause terrible lung damage.”

Several students who had previously tried the drug said that it tasted horrible.

Both synthetic and non-synthetic marijuana have proven to be extremely unhealthy and cause adverse affects. But certain side affects from the synthetic version are putting it in the illegal zone with the original.

By Kendall Seigworth and Kim Blake

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