OUR VIEW: Incensed over ‘herbal incense’


By Daily News • Last Updated 8:48 pm on Friday, February 03, 2012

When the Handy Market was broken into on Jan. 11, Greenville police reported energy pills and synthetic marijuana had been stolen.

Synthetic what? Sold in our neighborhood?

We didn’t know about this. Did you?

The more we learn about synthetic marijuana, the less we like it.

“Kryptonite” is marketed as herbal incense, but that’s apparently just a ploy to make it available to anyone who wants to buy it and smoke it.

Local law enforcement officials say Kryptonite is very similar to K2 Spice, another “herbal incense” which was outlawed in Michigan in October 2010 after hundreds of illnesses were reported to the Poison Control Center nationally that year. Symptoms of smoking “herbal incense” include hallucinations, mind-altering moods, stroke and seizures.

This product seems to appeal to people of all ages.

An 18-year-old in central Michigan died in December after smoking a K2 blend. Actress Demi Moore, age 49, was taken to a hospital convulsing and barely conscious after allegedly smoking herbal incense last month.
“She (Demi Moore) smoked something,” the caller told the 911 operator. “It’s not marijuana. It’s similar to incense.”

Did we mention there’s no age limit to purchase it?

The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, approved by 63 percent of voters in November 2008, has been a headache for law enforcement officials ever since and has seemingly created more problems than solutions.

But as if regular marijuana wasn’t accessible enough, teens and adults are now turning to synthetic drugs.

Few studies exist about the use and effects of synthetic drugs. It’s a troubling trend when rolling and smoking a mysterious substance becomes a local fad – especially among our youth.

Like we said, we didn’t know synthetic marijuana was being sold in our neighborhood. Some adults may have not known either, but we bet our young people do.

There’s one way to find out.

Ask a young person — maybe your child — if they have heard of “herbal incense” or “synthetic marijuana.” They may know it better by the name “Kryptonite” or “K2 Spice.”

This is a great opportunity to have a thoughtful discussion with a young person about how abusing chemical substances affects your body, your mind and your life.

Young people need to hear from you .. and who knows? They may teach you something too.

Editorial opinions are the consensus of The Daily News editorial board.

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