As the debate over marijuana legalization continues on a synethic knock-off is making waves across state legistlatures. The man-made version is called “spice” and it’s becoming increasingly popular—not the least because it doesn’t show up on drug tests, yet gives a marijuana-like high. Its ingredients are not known, and may vary, but it’s generally made by spraying crushed green leaves with man-made chemicals. Its effects, especially long-term, are unknown. In 2009 there were 41 cases of people calling poison control centers with a bad reaction to the drug. That number has mushroomed to 567 in the first half of 2010. Several states have banned the substance, including Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia, and others are working on doing the same. A doctor at the Missouri Poison Center, which has received 60 calls this year from spice users said, "I'm concerned we don't know what's in there, or the quantities that are in there. Some people may argue you shouldn't ban something when you don't know what's in it. But when the public health is of concern, I think it's right to act."
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