September 25, 2011

Beware of salvia divinorum

Ocean City has one more time decided to take the lead at protecting its citizens’ health, this time by banning an imitation recreational drug which can be the cause of highly serious problems.

It is to be remembered that around two years ago –specifically in 2009- salvia divinorum was banned from the market in this same resort. The consumption of this drug, a hallucinogenic herb, was legal; however, Ocean city decided not to take the risk and prevent their citizens from taking it.

The drug we are talking about now is known as K2 –some people also know it as Spice or Cloud. It is actually a recreational drug which imitates marijuana and which is also smoked.

It can be found in every market sold as aromatherapy or even incense, and even though it is clearly established in the packages that human beings are not supposed to consume it, it has been proved that many Ocean City residents have been smoking it.

When questioned about it, one store clerk admitted that smoking this herb causes a reaction similar to the one experienced when smoking marijuana. It is still not clear why, while the latter is illegal, the former can be freely bought and sold, considering the effects it produces are similar.

In 2010 Ocean City representatives clearly specified in a letter sent to this herb’s retailers that all substances aimed at imitating the effects caused by illegal drugs are banned by a series of state and federal laws.

These letters were instrumental in removing K2 from the market around July 2010. It is to be wondered now why the drug was being commercialized again this summer.

A number of K2 overdoses have been reported, clearly showing that the substance is not a harmless one. Then why is it that the drug was not definitely banned?

The city Mayor sent a new round of letters to all K2 retailers, and towards the end of August the manufacturing, sale and possession of the drug was banned in Ocean City. It is still to be decided which the consequences will be for violating this ordinance.

Unfortunately it is becoming a big hard for state legislation to take effect. The House of Delegates approved a ban on K2, but this ban has not passed the Senate yet.

This is why Ocean City decided not to wait for state action, and banned it completely from all its stores, obviously having in mind the welfare of its citizens.

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