Substances in K2 banned in Texas

NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, Texas - Today begins the ban in Texas on several synthetic marijuana-like substances found in products like K2, also known as Spice. The Texas Department of State Health Services is making it illegal to manufacture, distribute, possess, or sell the five banned compounds.

It's marketed as an herbal incense and produces similar effects as smoking marijuana. It's easy to find and cheap to buy. Smoke shops, gas stations, and the Internet sell it for as little as $10 a gram.

In the last year, the Texas Poison Center has received about 600 calls statewide from K2 use. Dr. Jeanie Jaramillo at the Texas Panhandle Poison Center says, "When you use it, you are not certain of the kind of effects it has on you, so you're taking a chance every time you use this drug. You may have minor effects, just nausea and vomiting, or it could be death. It's just like playing Russian Roulette."

The label on the package says it's not for consumption, but it has become widely popular among teens and young adults.

K2 has already been banned on the federal level by the DEA. Local law enforcement must wait for Texas legislators to make it illegal, before they can prosecute cases.