Hub City Officials looking to ban Spice

By Sheri Falk - bio | email | Twitter

Hattiesburg, MS (WDAM)- Several areas in the state have banned the sale of an herbal incense some consider a legal form of marijuana, and now Hattiesburg may join them.

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.

"Somewhere, somehow, somebody got the bright idea to start smoking this stuff," Detective Thad Windham with the Jasper County Sheriff's Department. "There is no known narcotics in this stuff right now. What we do know is, that it is strictly a blend of chemicals that is produced for incense."

Manufacturers claim it is not intended for human consumption.

Pharmacological research shows the products contains a drug about four times as potent as regular marijuana.

Synthetic marijuana was first created by John Huffman, a Clemson University organic chemist, 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.

In Jasper County two juveniles were hospitalized after experimenting with Spice.

"I don't think they will do it anymore," said Windham. "Nevertheless, the point of the matter is they are trying something that could be lethal."

Forrest County Sheriff Billy Magee along with Hattiesburg City Officials hope the Hub City will be next to prohibit it.

"We need to do something now to protect our kids. Some of them are not knowledgeable about what they are putting in their system," said Magee. "We know it's dangerous, we know that it is harmful to their health, to their bodies and the quicker we act the better."

Hattiesburg City Council President Kim Bradley says,"we need to be proactive and not reactive."

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