Synthetic Marijuana Sale Banned in New York

The products, which produce a high when smoked, have been linked to severe adverse reactions, including death and acute renal failure

Thursday, Mar 29, 2012  |  Updated 12:43 PM EDT
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New York state is banning the sale of "synthetic marijuana'' that's sold in convenience stores, smoke shops, and tobacco stores under brand names including "Spice'', "K2'' and "Mr. Nice Guy."     

The products, which produce a high when smoked, have been linked to severe adverse reactions, including death and acute renal failure.

State Health Commissioner Nirav Shah says they also commonly cause increased heart rates, paranoid behavior, agitation, and nausea, among other symptoms.      

The plant material in the products is coated with chemicals that mimic THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.      

The order issued Thursday calls for sales and distribution to stop immediately. Local health officials are being ordered to check for compliance.      

Violators can face civil penalties.

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