New Jersey has made its temporary ban on synthetic marijuana permanent, state Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced Monday.
The state’s Division of Consumer Affairs banned the drug in February, for 270 days pending public input, The Star-Ledger reports. Synthetic marijuana was sold under brand names including K2, Spice and Kush, at convenience stores, gas stations and shops that sell smoking paraphernalia. The state has already permanently banned bath salts, another popular synthetic drug.
Short term effects of synthetic marijuana include loss of control, lack of pain response, increased agitation, pale skin, seizures, vomiting, profuse sweating, uncontrolled or spastic body movements, elevated blood pressure, heart rate and palpitations. The drug can also cause severe paranoia, delusions, hallucinations and increased agitation.
“These synthetic poisons, once offered as a so-called ‘legal high’ by shady retailers, are now permanently off the market in New Jersey – and the numbers indicate our ongoing ban has led to a decline in their reported use,” Attorney General Chiesa said in a news release. “These drugs have grown in popularity nationwide, despite their alarming and catastrophic side effects. Today they are permanently on record as being just as illegal as cocaine or heroin.”
In July, President Obama signed legislation that bans synthetic drugs. The law bans harmful chemicals in synthetic drugs such as those used to make synthetic marijuana and bath salts.