INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - "Spice" is a synthetic marijuana and a growing number of peoplein Indiana are getting sick after experimenting with it.
A Middletown woman died in July after smoking Spice and now astate lawmaker wants to ban it.
Eight states have already outlawed Spice and other forms ofsynthetic marijuana that carry names like Pep, Kind, K2 and Mr.Smiley.
State Rep. John Barnes (D-Indianapolis) began his effort toban it here with a horror story from 21-year old Derek McQueen ofGreenfield. Derek McQueen showed off the scars from a failedattempt to take his own life after he experimented with smokingSpice and, he says, felt paranoid. "Luckily I was there," says hismother, Annette Emge. "I was able to help stop the bleeding or atleast slow it down till lifeline got there."
"And then I was (airlifted) to Clarian by helicopter," saysMcQueen, "and I was there for 3 or 4 days in the intensivecare."
24 Hour News 8 first reported on the popularity of Spice lastMay. It's sold at tobacco and convenience stores as incense, thoughsome stores offer rolling papers right next to it.
The Indiana Poison Center reports 76 cases of Spice toxicitythis year. "I've had two friends say that they've had seizures fromit," Stephanie Taylor of Franklin told us in May.
Dr. Brent Furbee of the Indiana Poison Center adds, "There havebeen a few people who have reported hallucinations with it."
So while state Representative John Barnes aims to ban Spice healso worries about bringing it to the attention of teenagers."There's so much publicity right now that there are an awful lot ofkids and adults who are thinking, ok, well if this stuff getsbanned we won't have a chance to sell it or experiment withit.""
Barnes plans to file a bill in January. Derek McQueen willcontinue to issue warnings. "I just tried it for, you know, aone-time thing and too much for me so it could be too much foranybody," he says.
Representative Barnes wants to give law enforcement officersmore power to go after the people who sell synthetic drugs alongwith his plan to ban Spice. He also wants retailers to make avoluntary effort to take the products off their shelves.
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