Pine Belt officials seek ban on incense

By Sheri Falk - bio | email | Twitter

POPLARVILLE, MS (WDAM) - Pine Belt officials claim some residents are using a legal incense to get high, and they want to put a stop to it.

Poplarville Police call it synthetic marijuana, but stores that carry it call it an herbal incense.

"It's a mood-altering chemical; it's a drug, the dangerous thing is that it is legal," said Captain Rossie Creel.

The incense had several names: Triple X, Mojo, Spice, Genie, K-2 or Jamaican Gold Bud. It looks similar to marijuana, and it can be smoked.

"It is also laced with a synthetic THC which is the chemical substance that's in marijuana and gives a person that high," said Creel.

Creel claims Mojo has five times the potency of agriculturally grown marijuana, and kids are using it full force out in public.

Pharmacological research shows the drug is about four times as potent as regular marijuana.

Synthetic marijuana was first synthesized by Clemson University organic chemist, John Huffman for use in research. Another compound routinely found in similar products is a cannabinoid developed by Pfizer.

Other than the high associated with marijuana, there are no known physical dangers associated with taking the drug, but there also hasn't been a great deal of research.

"It has those inebriating effects that marijuana has and your concerned about the kids that smoke it getting behind the wheel of the car and getting in an accident or causing someone else's death," said Creel.

Chief Charlie Fazende along with Captain Creel urged Pearl River County Supervisors to ban the sale of Mojo in the county.

Board member Hudson Holliday says, the vote to outlaw it was unanimous.

"There's no good that comes from this, and it was a way of raising awareness to the parents."

Holliday says, he even hopes the state will put a ban on Mojo.

"Maybe we will lead the way. Why sit here and wait for the legislature to do something next year when we can do something today, it doesn't make sense."

Southhaven and Horne Lake are two other areas that have put a ban on the sale of the incense.

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