Courts & Crime

Idaho authorities go after pot substitute 'Spice'

The merchants who sell "Spice" in the Treasure Valley say it is meant to be burned as incense - not smoked as a substitute for marijuana. Each jar or package sold has a disclaimer that reads "not for human consumption."

One store owner told the Idaho Statesman "It's aromatherapy, dude!" before hanging up the phone without further comment last week.

But a coalition of law enforcement officials, prosecutors, and members of state government say the mixture of herbs - sprayed with a synthetic compound similar to the chemical THC found in marijuana - is being used, and sold, as a marijuana substitute.

They fear it could cause serious health problems to unsuspecting teens and young adults, and they want it banned in the state.

The Drug Enforcement Agency has labeled Spice "a drug of concern" and says it can cause seizures, high blood pressure and loss of consciousness. Spice use is now banned in 11 states, including Utah.

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