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Davis

Davis, California

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Fake weed

I forget, sometimes, that weed is illegal.

If you’re looking for a high, but don’t want to break the law, you’ve probably heard of some of the legal alternatives that can be purchased at smoke and tobacco shops.

While these over-the-counter alternatives might initially seem safer and more legitimate than the weed you buy on the streets, many times they can actually be very unpleasant and even harmful.

Probably the most well-known legal high is an “herbal” mixture known as Spice. I would never ever recommend smoking Spice.

Most people smoke Spice either because they can’t smoke weed due to their job, or simply because it is a lot easier to obtain than an illegal substance.

Spice is essentially synthetic marijuana. It is marketed as a safe and natural alternative to weed, and the fact that it is easily accessible adds to the feeling that it is harmless.

Spice looks and smells like tea leaves, and it is smoked in the same exact manner as smoking weed.

Like weed, Spice can have a psychoactive effect on the brain, and can make you feel relaxed and elevated and might even make you hallucinate.

But unlike weed, Spice is laced with many unnamed chemicals. It is these chemicals, and not the herb itself, that produce a high.

In fact, the Spice leaves are mainly just filler. There is no specific plant or flower that is cultivated to make Spice. It is usually simply a mix of ground-up, dried plants. Unfortunately, this mix allows the product to be labeled as natural.

But again, these herbs have absolutely no beneficial or mind-altering effects on their own, and they are simply the base on which Spice manufacturers can spray various chemicals.

These chemicals are the troublemakers.

Spice is made using the same chemical compound as the one that is used to make Bath Salts. Bath Salts recently made headlines after it was rumored that they were responsible for turning people into crazed cannibals.

It is not surprising that Spice has caused just as much trouble.

While they are meant to mimic THC, the chemicals in Spice actually produce an effect that is more similar to that of cocaine or meth.

There have been a number of emergency room visits by people who feel extreme anxiety, increased blood pressure and intense pains in the chest after smoking it.

Even more disturbing, there have been a number of suicides by teens who developed bouts of psychosis after trying the drug. While these suicides and suicide attempts have led certain states like Arizona and Louisiana to immediately place a ban on synthetic marijuana products, they are still permitted by federal law.

But even when the government tries to prohibit the sale of Spice, Spice makers usually have no problem finding a loophole.

For example, they constantly change the ingredients they use because the federal government constantly bans many of the chemicals their mixtures rely on.

Spice companies have even added a “not for human consumption” label on their products. This warning makes it even harder to regulate Spice, since Spice makers use it to claim that they are selling potpourri and incense-type products that are not meant to be smoked.

Furthermore, this warning also makes it harder to hold Spice companies legally responsible for all the harm they cause, since again they can claim that their products were never intended to be smoked in the first place.

But it’s no secret that they know damn well that people are smoking their product.

Even though there is proof that Spice is hurting people, and even though it contradicts their use of a warning label, Spice proponents like Dan Francis have claimed in interviews that Spice is no more dangerous than peanuts, and that it would be unjust to ban such a safe product.

But safe products should not cause severe psychotic reactions.

It is a shame that there exists a synthetic alternative to marijuana when marijuana is already safe, natural and delicious.

It’s even more disgusting that the public is purposely misled and that law-abiding citizens are taken advantage of.

So think twice and lose the Spice. Skip the dread and smoke weed instead.

LEO OCAMPO thinks drug-free is the way to be and can somewhat be reached at gocampo@ucadavis.edu.

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