March 19th, 2012
12:01 AM ET

Synthetic marijuana just as dangerous

It may not be marijuana, but its effects are just as potent. A new report in this week's edition of the journal Pediatrics finds more emergency rooms across the United States are seeing an increase in patients who have used synthetic marijuana.

Known as K2, Spice, Mr. Smiley and Blaze, the product can have similar but sometimes more serious consequences than marijuana?  These synthetic cannabinoids are a blend of plant and herbal materials that have been sprayed with chemicals, which produce a certain toxicity.

Sold in such places at gas stations, connivence stores and on the internet, the synthetic marijuana produce euphoric and psychoactive effects similar to those associated with marijuana. But doctors say there are additional side effects that may be particularly dangerous. The drug can leave patients catatonic and listless. And what makes matters worse, very little is known about Synthetic marijuana or how to treat an adverse reaction or overdose.

"When we suspected the use of synthetic marijuana in these patients, we soon realized that there is little information about this drug in the medical literature," said Dr. Joanna Cohen, a pediatric emergency medicine physician at Children's National Medical Center in Washington D.C. and the lead author of the paper. "Because it is a relatively new drug," Cohen notes, "we should be aware of the symptoms and make a concerted effort to share our experiences in treating patients so we can develop best practices."

The American Association of Poison Control Centers reported 4,500 calls involving synthetic cannabinoid toxicity from 2010 to 2011. The drug is difficult to detect, because it does not show up on routine drugs tests. Further lab work is needed to find if a person is using it. The study authors recommend lab studies that include a comprehensive screening (electrolytes, urine test, blood alcohol level) since many drugs are often used together.

Because little research has been done on these products, pediatricians are concerned about the drugs' effects on the teenage brain. Experts predict the synthetic drug may go so far as to effect memory loss and psychosis, if it's used over a long period of time

If you're a parent and suspect your child may be using synthetic marijuana, look for these signs: Excessive sweating, agitation, inability to speak, aggression and restlessness. If a teen is showing these symptoms, doctors recommend you seek medical attention for your child immediately.

soundoff (298 Responses)
  1. Grammar Gorilla

    My God CNN, spellchecker could have saved this article, if not an actual proofreader.

    March 19, 2012 at 20:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tabatha

      YES! Spell check needed!

      March 19, 2012 at 21:45 | Report abuse |
    • Grammer Troll

      A big pat on the back for you! We are all very impressed!

      March 20, 2012 at 00:45 | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      If this were an I-Report, I would have clicked the yellow button.

      March 20, 2012 at 07:13 | Report abuse |
    • Mick

      What...you don't have "connivence stores" in your town?

      March 21, 2012 at 09:45 | Report abuse |
    • Lisa N.

      The current administration has launched a terror campaign against law abiding Medical Marijuana Patients. CNN is an arm of the anachronistic gestapo that continues to spread lies while praising the virtues of alcohol.

      March 21, 2012 at 14:30 | Report abuse |
  2. 4commonsensenow

    Really, who is the moron trying to screw with nature.Dont smoke pot until you become a loser, thats when you dont need your social brain cells anymore.

    March 19, 2012 at 20:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • No Brain Cells

      Scientifically proven pot does not destroy brain cells, now alcohol on the other hand.

      The morons are people to scared to smoke weed for a drug test and they think since this crap is sold in stores it must be safe.

      March 19, 2012 at 20:44 | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      Really? So, I take it you've never drank alcohol before? Just a little fact check. Alcohol causes hundreds of thousands of deaths in the U.S. every year (similar to Tobacco which is btw, also legal and KNOWN to result in permanent lung damage).
      How many people have died as a result of smoking pot? 0. Yes that's right. Zero. No deaths have ever been associated with Marijuana use. Pot doesn't turn people into idiots and dangerous individuals, it just makes them happy, hungry and sleepy. It's also widely used to help cancer patients against pain and other symptoms. Do some research next time.

      March 20, 2012 at 14:08 | Report abuse |
    • rick

      our bodies are hard wired for cannabinoids. those seeking to prohibit are the ones who are screwing with nature.

      March 20, 2012 at 14:57 | Report abuse |
    • 3vilmonkey

      commonsensenow: Congrats, you win "Unbelievable Moron of the Week" award... your noose and dunce-cap are available for pick-up now..

      March 21, 2012 at 01:34 | Report abuse |
    • Robs

      God made it....you Idiot

      March 21, 2012 at 07:05 | Report abuse |
    • @youignantdotcom

      "God made it....you Idiot"

      lol yeah according to a bunch of men....#youignant

      March 21, 2012 at 08:01 | Report abuse |
    • tacc2

      Go back to your DARE class. It seems you are incapable of independent thought and reasoning.

      March 21, 2012 at 09:01 | Report abuse |
    • Guard1an

      "...our data suggest that over the long term cannabis use is not associated with greater declines in cognition among men, women, or heavy users ... these results would seem to provide strong evidence of the absence of a long term residual effect of cannabis use on cognition." "We conclude that cognitive decline occurs across all age groups, with a significant proportion of persons of all ages showing declines near clinically significant levels after 12 years. Such decline is not ssociated with cannabis use in either men or women." Source: Constantine G. Lyketsos, Elizabeth Garrett, Kung-Yee Liang, and James C. Anthony. (1999). "Cannabis Use and Cognitive Decline in Persons under 65 Years of Age," American Journal of Epidemiology, Vol. 149, No. 9

      "The evidence for an "amotivational syndrome" among adults consists largely of case histories and observational reports (e.g. Kolansky and Moore, 1971; Millman and Sbriglio, 1986). The small number of controlled field and laboratory studies have not found compelling evidence for such a syndrome (Dornbush, 1974; Negrete, 1983; Hollister, 1986). ...it is doubtful that cannabis use produces a well defined amotivational syndrome." Source: Hall, W., Room, R. & Bondy, S., WHO Project on Health Implications of Cannabis Use: A Comparative Appraisal of the Health and Psychological Consequences of Alcohol, Cannabis, Nicotine and Opiate Use, August 28, 1995 (Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, March 1998).

      Billions have been spent but the only thing we have to show for it is that America incarcerates more people than any other country in the world. In 1980, approximately 400,000 were arested on marijuana charges and that number has risen each year. In 2010, approximately 800,000 people were arrested on marijuana charges. With 80% of the US population in favor of medical marijuana and 50% in favor of full legalization, its time our elected politicians do the right thing and legalize it. Prohibition is a failed policy because it creates more harm than good, but prohibitionists fail to understand that.

      March 21, 2012 at 11:20 | Report abuse |
    • George Washington

      Yes, of course...pot...natural herb...grew wild throughout the US and elsewhere...must be condemned...
      Big Pharma can't make billions from that!
      On the other hand, just watch the contraindications of the latest Big Pharma drugs being pushed by cute TV commercials...
      How is pot worse than oxy...?
      Grow up USA! Your people are addicted to Big Pharma drugs now...and it's okay with idiots who still condemn pot!

      March 21, 2012 at 14:00 | Report abuse |
    • Justin Hale

      Seems like your federal government with YOUR tax dollars are the ones screwing with nature. What exactly are "social " brain cells?

      March 26, 2012 at 13:18 | Report abuse |
    • Paul Waller

      Clearly you have no real experience with Marijuana, many very successful, very intelligent people use marijuana. People like you are the reason society considers Marijuana dangerous. Read a study. There are no proven negative health affects to using Marijuana. idiot.

      May 21, 2012 at 14:57 | Report abuse |
    • JD

      Funny thing here is that study was debunked, they found out the doctor used gas masks on apes pumping the 100s of chronic joints, they died and a autopsy was done that shown brain cell death, 1st of if your stupid enough to do that(not a gas mask, but pump 100s of chronic joints in you which would prob kill you an being nobody die from cannabis EVER thats just asinine) 2nd they died from lack of oxygen which causes cell death, the inrony here is theyve found that cannabis might case neurogenesis and bith THC & CBD are neruoprotants and anti-oxidants infact the us government even holds a patent on CBD for this reason Patent # 6630507 so sorry try again plz, of and plz tell carl sagan and albert einstein how they were brain dead losers carl sagan used cannabis all the time and was a huge activist for legalization and cannabis resin has been found albert einsteins pipe

      May 30, 2012 at 09:11 | Report abuse |
  3. What a joke

    Just how many people overdose on Marijuana every year? These chemical toxins sprayed on dried flowers should not be giving a god giving plant a bad name. "just as dangerous"? How is marijuana dangerous? American society needs to get honest and forget the brainwashing that has been forced down our throats since Nixon. Legalize pot and there will be no need for the bathtub alternatives.

    March 19, 2012 at 20:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • @youignantdotcom

      "American society needs to get honest and forget the brainwashing that has been forced down our throats since Nixon. "

      LOL since Nixon? Try since the 30s

      March 20, 2012 at 08:53 | Report abuse |
    • rick

      Marijuana Tax Act 2 Aug 1937

      March 20, 2012 at 14:59 | Report abuse |
    • Dude

      Every time a drug is banned, a worse replacement appears.

      Legalize marijuana and what will happen? Very little. You will not see a sudden change in the country. We will not degenerate a nation. Drug use will not spiral out of control. 99% of your lives will go on just as before.

      The money saved in law enforcement will go to stopping meth, crack, heroin etc. The money saved in prisons and courts will go to providing addiction treatment. The use of hard drugs will decline.

      Hundreds of millions of dollars that now goes to illegal organizations outside the US will remain here. The Mexican cartels will lose most of their income.

      Renewable hemp will replace many trees in paper manufacture. Hemp will be used to generate electricity with zero net carbon emissions. Hemp cotton blends will replace cotton, dramatically reducing the use of fertilizers, insecticides and defoliants. This will reduce the dead zone in the gulf of Mexico, currently the size of Texas. The return of algae will reduce CO2. Hemp oil can replace fossil oil as an engine lubricant. It was the engine oil of choice for aviation in WWII.

      And so on.

      But, there will not be some huge change in daily life. The number of marijuana users will not dramatically increase. People who want to smoke already do. There will be a decrease in minors smoking, because legitimate businesses will drive out illegal dealers and they will not want to risk their marijuana / alcohol licenses.

      March 21, 2012 at 21:59 | Report abuse |
    • rick

      dude: i disagree with you. i think that legal marijuana will have a major impact on alcohol sales. and i think the alcohol pushers know this

      March 23, 2012 at 06:22 | Report abuse |
    • Greg Smith

      Exactly, and this point needs to made perfectly clear. The synthetic cannabinoids in these products are man-made and dangerous. The natural cannabinoids are not, have never killed anyone, and in fact have demonstrated health benefits. The synthetic cannabinoids were developed specifically to avoid detection on drug tests. They are products born of prohibition, just as poisonous "Ginger Jack" and "Apple Jack", (methanol concoctions produced during the era of alcohol prohibition) were attempts to make money off of people that wanted to drink despite the ban on alcohol.

      May 26, 2012 at 00:08 | Report abuse |
  4. kooolguy

    just as dangerous as marijuana? marijuana is harmless so therefore in this article you are implying that synthetic marijuana is also harmless since you foolishly compared the two. now we all know this fake lab weed is dangerous and we all know that the natural God given cannabis is harmless so unless you want to encourage synthetic use don't compare its hazard to a safe drug. and as long as you keep marijuana illegal people will keep using the synthetic stuff so they don't risk being labeled a criminal for using something that naturally grows out of the ground. i'm sick and tired of this propaganda, how ridiculous is it that you go to jail and get branded a criminal for using something that grows out of the ground? why don't we outlaw fast food? america has like 1 in 3 fat people nowadays? i occasionally enjoy my fast food however but i was getting the point across that if the government really cared about "our health" then healthy food wouldn't be more expensive then unhealthy food.


    March 19, 2012 at 20:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • smokin

      Agreed! Of all the alcohol related incidents as well as "chemical" drugs out there, Marijuana is the most non damaging!!

      March 20, 2012 at 12:35 | Report abuse |
    • dumbwaiter

      right on! – drug policy is insane! – I used to work on an Indian Reservation in a half-way house. The use of 'inhalants' by native Americans is much more prevalent than in other parts of our society. Not sure if anyone knows the full answer to why that is so, but most of us know quite well that 'huffing' is very dangerous. Paint is not illegal to buy nor should it be. People will still choose to use it to their detriment.

      Lets be honest – marijuana was first made illegal to take care of the 'Mexican' problem on the border. Lets let go of it already! Move on and get real. Prohibition does not work.

      March 21, 2012 at 19:49 | Report abuse |
  5. Gman

    I have smoked marijuana off and on and sometimes continuously for over 30 years. I smoked this "synthetic marijuana" a few times and NEVER again. I will agree that there is a similarity to the psychoactive result...but that is as far as it goes. This crap screwed my lungs where i could feel wheezing after smoking it only a few times and i noticed mood swings I never get from the stuff God produced. This garbage needs to come off the shelves immediately. it is GARBAGE and dangerous.

    March 19, 2012 at 22:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • AK1197

      I agree haha! Long time smoker here and once I smoked the synthetic crap I have never felt worse in my life. I did it just to try it as some people I was associated with at the time were totally into it. Word of advice: If you enjoy smoking the REAL stuff and need to take a drug test in the near future...seriously consider quitting for a while instead of smoking this stuff. Gave me heart palpitations, nausea, confusion, etc. Besides, if the real stuff is so good and all natural, with little to no dangerous factors or results...why the heck would you even consider smoking the fake stuff. I was an idiot.

      March 20, 2012 at 15:39 | Report abuse |
    • GodPot

      I know it's not a conspiracy to give weed a bad name, but it would be pretty clever if it was. Take some crap plants and spray them with chemical and call it "synthetic marijuana" thus linking any negative side effects of dried chemically enhanced oregano to marijuana in the ignorant and uneducated minds. Maybe we could make something called "Synthetic Rum" that gets you drunk but also makes you itch all over and shlt yourself after one shot. Maybe people would stop drinking then... Right? Cause the Synthetic stuff is bad for you so who knows what the real stuff would do...

      March 21, 2012 at 16:01 | Report abuse |


    March 19, 2012 at 22:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • skicoppell

      hahahaha DECIETFUL SUBSTANCE makes no sense! Besides, you forgot to spell check....

      March 20, 2012 at 20:07 | Report abuse |
  7. Nsfwjonathan

    This was a terribly written article.

    That said, I have used synthetic marijuana and since the claims of adverse health effects have arisen, they have become less and less severe. First it caused death and heart attacks, now it causes 'catatonic' states. Those kids aren't catatonic – they are dysphoric. They smoke something they didn't understand and they smoked too much of it, too fast. They didn't know how to handle that high and so they triggered into fear and anxiety. It's paranoia.

    Give them a xanax, and monitor your kids.

    March 20, 2012 at 02:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • skate

      That is a horribly stupid comment.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:08 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      That is a stupid comment, I'm an EMT on a 911 ambulance and have run over 10 of these calls. The poor kids are agitated, unable to speak, some are unconscious, but all exhibit tachycardia of over 160 BPM. That is the equivalent of sprinting the hardest you can. I would much rather them smoke the real stuff, as I have never gone to a "I'm too stoned.. Man" 911 call.

      March 20, 2012 at 13:55 | Report abuse |
    • AK1197

      Xanax in conjunction with a synthetic material? Especially if you are not a medical doctor prescribing the Xanax? Get your head outta your @$$.

      March 20, 2012 at 15:41 | Report abuse |
    • skicoppell

      HAHAHAHAHA I put Nsfwjonathan's dumb post on Fail Blog! 🙂

      March 20, 2012 at 20:08 | Report abuse |
  8. Garrett

    Stick to the natural stuff people.. Probably solved. It's the government's fault, they are creating a mess, by getting too involved in our individual freedoms. No one should own my body but myself.

    March 20, 2012 at 03:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. massvocals

    Synthetic marijuana just as dangerous THis is such a lie but base and sent out for this head line only Synthetic marijuana just as dangerous when in fact marijuana for those of you don't know never smoke it never would send you to the ER unless you was hungry and need food

    March 20, 2012 at 05:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • LinSea

      Maybe you won't end up in the ER, but what about all the people you crash into or run over because you're driving while you're stoned? I keep hearing news story after news story about impaired drivers with pot in their systems who cause accidents.

      March 20, 2012 at 19:31 | Report abuse |
    • @youignantdotcom

      "I keep hearing news story after news story about impaired drivers with pot in their systems who cause accidents."

      Yeah because pot stays in your system much longer than any other drug. You can smoke a joint 20-30 days earlier and it will still be in your system. Just because they had pot in their system doesnt mean they were impaired by pot. Post some citations please otherwise this is just speculation.

      March 21, 2012 at 08:16 | Report abuse |
    • tacc2

      LinSea: Yes, some people get too high to drive, but do it anyhow because they're morons. Anyone with half a brain knows when they shouldn't be behind the wheel. But then, you have morons who drink too much and drive anyhow and morons who text while driving. Also, don't believe all the reports of drivers with marijuana in their systems. It's mostly BS. They're testing for metabolites that can stay in your system for weeks after you've used cannabis. The person may have smoked a few days ago but these geniuses will claim they were impaired. I'll take my chances with a stoned driver over a drunk any day.

      March 21, 2012 at 09:10 | Report abuse |
  10. massvocals

    There may not be much differences and god and the devil or there may be very much difference in synthetic vs real
    the message is hey kids stay with o natural marijuana forget the synthetic cause buy real pot and enjoy
    massvocals to all you kids its safer then anything law enforcement is trying to send out another scare
    good Grade A marijuana herb is safer then any legal drug they will sell ya its all about employment
    sugar kills more people and is addicting cause disease yet its legal

    March 20, 2012 at 05:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ConcernedCitizen

      And for God's sake kids, while you are out buying non-synthetic pot, don't forget to buy a keyboard with punctuation marks on it!

      March 20, 2012 at 16:11 | Report abuse |
  11. massvocals

    psychoactive result. = mushrooms organic

    March 20, 2012 at 05:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. massvocals

    The need to get high is as real as your feet and its uses grow over grow the government free mark

    March 20, 2012 at 05:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Marc Emery

      Marc Emery is the MJ seed distribution kingpin (lol, like Robin Hood was a kingpin). He should be bronzed or sainted, not imprisoned!

      THANKS MARC!!!!!

      March 21, 2012 at 17:55 | Report abuse |
  13. Jacob

    Do journalists use spell check anymore? Anyway, this article had me fuming. How dare they compare synthetic herb sprayed with chemicals to natural cannabis? Smoke n mirrors I tell you. This article is blazingly incorrect. It had me on fire. Disclaimer, the smoke/fire references added to my statement for comedic effect.

    March 20, 2012 at 06:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • AK1197

      They compare it to synthetic herb because it was actually created in a science lab of Clemson University where chemistry students wanted to see if they could mimic the chemical components of THC. They were actually able to create the same thing for scientific/research purposes but another student stole the formula and began to recreate it to sell. That is where the history comes from. Google it, or take it from me who works in mental health and substance abuse with professionals who are now becoming specialists due to the rising statistics. Side effects are not comparable though. Makes you feel like crap on the fake stuff lol.

      March 20, 2012 at 15:46 | Report abuse |
  14. Danno

    If the war on drugs were working, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (office of the Drug Czar) wouldn't increase their budget every year, with them asking for $26 billion for 2012. That is complete insanity and a waste of tax dollars.

    Marijuana is simply not dangerous. If it were, people would be getting sick and dying from it. But they aren't. You know what does make people sick? Tobacco, low quality food, and pollution. All legal to force upon the people of the US. Stop the madness, and destroy the black market by making this safe, natural product legal. Decriminalize all personal drug possession. Even hard drugs. Because drug addicts need to be pitied, NOT incarcerated. We know throwing addicts in prison does nothing but perpetuate the problem. Make trafficking dangerous man-made drugs punishable by harsher sentences. THAT should be the goal of the Drug Czar.

    March 20, 2012 at 09:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • thankyou


      March 20, 2012 at 14:34 | Report abuse |
    • skicoppell

      Danno, let me explain to you why you are wrong. Legalizing marijuana, and "hard drugs" would do our country more harm than good. Think about it: what would happen to American morale? Lets say, for example, 5% of our workforce began shooting up heroin after the decriminalization of drugs. We would have a bunch of lazy, no-for-good junkies laying around. Why not flee from drugs and alcohol and instead turn to activities(exercise, hobbies, sex, e.g.) that make you feel good?

      March 20, 2012 at 20:20 | Report abuse |
    • Cat

      Some one i love says they are addicted to it, I am afraid for this person. but they will not listen to my concerns. I wish the Government would stop butting into our freedoms and legalize the real Cannabis , But no they rather legalize the dangerous stuff to kill children. We have a government that is more against us then for us.

      March 21, 2012 at 09:16 | Report abuse |
    • tacc2

      skicoppell: You are completely wrong. First, you assume that because drugs are illegal this keeps people from using them. Nothing could be further from the truth. Almost everyone who wants to use drugs already does. I've never met someone who wanted to use drugs but doesn't because they're illegal. I will concede that there may be a very slight increase in experimentation were drugs to become legal, because a few people would be curious but it won't be very many. Right now, I could get just about any drug I want delivered right to my door by any number of friendly neighborhood drug dealers. No ID check, no taxes, it's a completely free market totally out of the government's control. The illegality of substances have absolutely no affect on availability. Second, most drug users are not your stereotypical lazy, unproductive, homeless losers. Most drug users (especially cannabis users) can function just fine. There are literally TENS OF MILLIONS of us and we're not going to take this abuse much longer.

      March 21, 2012 at 09:32 | Report abuse |
    • Noga

      because we are trying to get laws psased and some people are still very naive about cannabis. it's not because we have a problem with it, society does and until we can pass the laws needed we need everyone to cooperate and continue to be smarter and more mature than our society of uneducated people it's not fair as my son would say, but it is law .for now patience my child..anything worth having is worth waiting(working) for

      April 8, 2012 at 05:28 | Report abuse |
  15. Damon

    Four busloads of kids go to the ER every day for legal prescription drugs. How does that compare to the 4500 "calls" over a couple of years? This stuff doesn't deserve the attention.

    March 20, 2012 at 09:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. yahmez the mad

    "Synthetic marijuana just as dangerous" is the most dishonest headline I've seen on CNN. Have there been a similar number of emergency room visits for marijuana? No. The most dangerous thing about marijuana is that it may cause angry police officers to point guns at you. The punishment does not fit the crime, LEGALIZE MARIJUANA!

    March 20, 2012 at 11:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Jake

    Moral of the story – stick to natural marijuana, it's safer.

    March 20, 2012 at 12:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. StupidPeople

    "If you're a parent and suspect your child may be using synthetic marijuana, look for these signs: Excessive sweating, agitation, inability to speak, aggression and restlessness. If a teen is showing these symptoms, doctors recommend you seek medical attention for your child immediately."

    ...that pretty much describes every NORMAL teenager. Nothing more than a BS fear and hype article.
    Stick to the real stuff!!

    March 20, 2012 at 12:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Alyssa

    Can someone do a study of how many people end up in the ER with a Marijuana overdose??? I am guessing NONE. Never ever heard of a Marijuana overdose before! Once again- CNN points the finger at a drug that is much safer than most drugs on the market these days- especially alcohol.

    March 20, 2012 at 13:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. rick

    Notice that there not a credit to the author of this article?

    I'm sorry. The person responsible is PATHETIC. And so is the editor who approved. And CNN for posting on their site.

    March 20, 2012 at 13:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Fun times

    HEY!!! I hear that if you smoke the stuffing from beanie babies..... Well miracles happen.

    March 20, 2012 at 13:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ankur

      What day is the best day to get the legal advice? Also I would like to know what time?? Is there a ampplet that could be downloaded online of the days and the time of events that are scheduled? I'm pretty sure people like myself are going for specific answers and we could use an outline of what is taking place daily so that way no one misses out on what they are wanting to hear.

      April 8, 2012 at 16:55 | Report abuse |
  22. Kandi

    How to read CNN Articles

    March 20, 2012 at 15:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Kandi

    How to read CNN articles.

    1. Read headline
    2. Look at photo

    March 20, 2012 at 15:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Kandi

    How to read CNN articles.

    1. Read headline
    2. Look at photo
    3. Read comments

    If comments are good then read article from bottom up.

    March 20, 2012 at 15:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. JUNIOR

    Marijuana won't be legalized because if it does, the pharmaseutical industry will go down because of the medicinal uses the plant gives.

    March 20, 2012 at 15:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Eric

      The real reason it won't be legalized is because there is no way to test if someone is under the influence while driving. There is no legit way to test if they are under the influence which would make it impossible to regulate its use in vehicles. The reason it is illegal is so they don't have to know if you used it while you were driving. They can just test and charge you for using it in a large period of time. Your point is also valid the medical industry would not let it happen. I agree that it is safe, does little harm, and should be legal. The reality is that because of these two things above it will never be legal. All the people in support of its legalization need to stop pushing how safe it is and find a accurate road side test and push back the drug industry. Then it could be legalized.

      March 21, 2012 at 11:33 | Report abuse |
    • Justin Hale

      That's not true,there are tests that indicate current use,it is a blood test for ACTIVE thc,which spikes to some very high number of ng/ml,that level drops off just as fast to a low thc level after about three hours. The test for thc cooh in blood is meaningless.
      By the way the basis of your comment is meaningless,there ARE ways to detect driving under the influence of alcohol,and yet we see thousands die in taffic accidents involving alcohol,so the availability to test for impairment does not make us safer,by your logic we should make alcohol illegal.

      March 26, 2012 at 14:08 | Report abuse |
  26. Bob

    These drugs are poisonous and dangerous. Marijuana isn't. This author has no clue.

    March 20, 2012 at 15:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Nophah Kingweigh

    This stuff is WAY more "dangerous" than the real thing. Legalize it now, or just move to Oregon and enjoy with us!

    March 20, 2012 at 16:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Nophah Kingweigh

    And where is the nearest connivance store?

    March 20, 2012 at 16:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. teri

    I have enjoyed pot for 40 years, now smoke legal weed ONLY because it's legal.
    I always hated being under the risk of breaking the Law. Please let's find a way to decriminalize Marijuana.

    March 20, 2012 at 16:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Cintia

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      April 14, 2012 at 12:34 | Report abuse |
  30. 1tag2

    It is time to legalize medical marijuana in all 50 states and DC. The only reason it is not is the lobbists. The privatized prisons want stiffer sentences on MJ offenses because marijuana offenders make up to 40% of the prison population, ( multiple offenses). These privatized prison companies like Correction Corporation of America (CCA), want to keep the cell block full and making the punishments harsher achieves their goal. Also big pharma....we all know this already. There is too much political influence, influence which lines the pockets of many politicans. Why can a man or woman be prescribed powerful and addictive narcotics to fight pain, such as oxycontin and hydrocodin, yet not be able to try a high cannabidol (CBD) strain of cannabis which has been proven to reduce pain and inflamation. By the way, these high CBD strains are typically low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), meaning you won't get "high". Stop the lies and support medical marijuana in the United States of America!

    March 20, 2012 at 17:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Chris

    Synthetic marijuana would never exist if real marijuana were legal. If harm comes to anyone who uses the synthetic stuff, blood is on the hands of those who insist on keeping the real stuff banned.

    March 20, 2012 at 20:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. hector

    i thought i couldnt lose any more respect for cnn but i guess i was wrong. SMOKE A BLUNT AND SHUT UP!

    March 20, 2012 at 21:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. 3vilmonkey

    "JUST AS DANGEROUS"?!? Does this author of this article "Val Waddas-Willingham" have ANY IDEA how incredibly idiotic s/he sounds?? Natural Cannabis is NOT DANGEROUS AT ALL. Synthetic "marijuana" IS DANGEROUS.

    Since when was basic honesty so impossibly difficult to find?!?

    March 21, 2012 at 01:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. jeff

    I don't always Toke, but when I do I prefer Organically Grown Sensimillia.

    March 21, 2012 at 08:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. ahryn

    this stuff is a friggin modern day plague,
    anyone who smokes it is at risk.

    March 21, 2012 at 09:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. tacc2

    I love when CNN publishes articles fear mongering about drugs and you look through the comments and see the vast majority of them are not believing the lies.


    March 21, 2012 at 09:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Guard1an

    Support for medical marijuana is around 80% nationally. Support for marijuana legalization is around 50% nationally. The problem that exists at

    the present is with the DOJ and DEA. According to the latest DEA FY 2013 Performance Budget Congressional Submission, "Persons who

    are in the business of cultivating, selling or distributing marijuana, and those who knowingly facilitate such activities, are in violation of the

    Controlled Substances Act, regardless of state law.” "Although fifteen states and the District of Colombia have legalized “medical” marijuana,

    the cannabis plant itself is not medicine" and "...that no sound scientific studies supported medical use of marijuana for treatment in the United

    States, and no animal or human data supported the safety or efficacy of marijuana for general medical use." Of course the DEA statement

    directly contradicts United States Patent 6,630,507 that was assigned to The United States of America as represented by the Department of

    Health and Human Services (Washington, DC). Worse, the patent has recently been offered to a single company, see "Prospective Grant of

    Exclusive License: Development of Cannabinoid(s) and Cannabidiol(s) Based Therapeutics To Treat Hepatic Encephalopathy in Humans."
    Prohibition has causes more harm than good, but prohibitionists fail to understand that. It's time to end the war and legalize it.

    Peace, Love, Not War

    March 21, 2012 at 10:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • 1tag2

      Right on Brother!

      March 21, 2012 at 11:16 | Report abuse |
    • Jake

      Sean, really? It's not a mdcoeatiin because it only inhibits additional neurotransmitters? are you for real? do you not know anything about how mdcoeatiin works? By either activating or inhibiting neurons, duh! Are you not aware that marijuana also has 3 of the most heady antioxidants known to man as well? According to the Mayo clinic it causes depression? Who are they? Where is proof of their credibility? What study did they do? How did they prove that? Here, let me give you my sources and their studies on this subject:The cannabinoid logic controls digestion, hunger, reproduction of muscle fibers, skin cells, brain cells and neurons, metabolism, lipid production in the liver, glucose levels, insulin rejection, nutrient delivery, pain detection and regulation of additional neurotransmitters. How weed effects psychosis, paranoia, schizophrenia, bi-polar, overexcited outbursts, anxiety and ADHD:THC does have a commanding anti-psychotic that suppresses the 5-HT2a receptor in the brain. The receptor that is actively stimulated in people with psychosis, paranoia and schizophrenia is the 5-HT2a receptor. This receptor controls the blood flow to the 4th layer of the intellectual cortex. When this receptor is activated the 4th layer of the intellectual cortex becomes engorged with blood. This alters the perception of space, time and reality. Anti-psychotics that are used to treat psychosis, paranoia and schizophrenia work by suppressing this receptor.The intellectual cortex is the part of the brain that is vital to cognitive thought and perception of reality. So the use of marijuana by children who do not have these disorders is not recommended because it will hinder the development of this part of the brain by limiting blood flow to it. But, there are additional cannabinoids that activate the cannabinoid logic just as effectively without suppressing the 5-HT2a receptor that can be used for children suffering additional disorders.THC activates all of the cannabinoid receptors making a feeling of jubilation and regulating the release of neuro-transmitters that cause stress, anxiety, hyperactivity, rage and depression. This makes THC a useful anti-anxiety, anti-depressant and mood stabilizer and ADHD mdcoeatiin.All of these mdcoeatiins that are currently unfilled there are a large number of negative side effects. There are no observable negative side effects to the use of THC in treatment of these disorders.This is definitive evidence against the theories that marijuana causes anxiety, paranoia, overexcited outbursts, aggressive behavior as well as the claim that long term use of marijuana causes schizophrenia, psychosis and bi-polar disorder.But, as with the long term use of any anti-psychotic, antidepressant, anti-anxiety and mood stabilizer mdcoeatiin the sudden and complete discontinuation of it's use can cause small term symptoms of these disorders but not the disorders themselves.Smoking Marijuana and it's affects on the immune logic, and aging, diabetes, and additional physical problems:Free radicals are the menace that lower your immune logic, cause aging, cause cancer, help the onset of diabetes as well as many additional sicknesses and illnesses within the human body. These free radicals are our greatest natural enemy. There have been accusations that smoking marijuana causes all these harmful affects on the body because smoke, in general, contains free radicals.The first argument against this is that the plant does not have to be smoked. Tea can be made from it and it can be eaten in many different varieties of foods. Smoking marijuana just seems to be the most well loved form of using the drug. While it is right that smoke in general contains free radicals, marijuana smoke also contains three anti-oxidants that are more commanding than the typical anti-oxidants such as vitamins a, e and carotenoids and additional anti-oxidants found in fruits and vegetables and even those found in grape seed oils. These three anti-oxidants are known by researchers as cannabidiol, anandamide and THC.A stroke unleashes a torrent of glutamate, a chemical messenger in the brain, which leads to the formation of toxic oxidizing molecules. Additional antioxidants, such as vitamins A and E, by now are known to block the damaging effects of excess glutamate. Researchers found that cannabidiol, an anti-oxidant found in both marijuana and marijuana smoke, was a much more commanding anti-oxidant and more affective neuron protector than the well known anti-oxidants.Another cannabinoid, commonly known as THC, proved to be an equally effective antioxidant and neuron protector. The researchers said that THC's euphoric side effects would not allow doctors to administer it in high doses. Even still, in low doses, was just as effective as cannabidiol.A third cannabinoid called anandamide was proven to be such a strong anti-oxidant that it inhibits the growth of breast cancer cells by interfering with their DNA production cycle.

      April 8, 2012 at 20:01 | Report abuse |
    • Munch

      Designer also has to evaluate the fonts used along with the brgkcaound colors. Some fonts may not bring out an expert look and at times are not readable. Some fonts are not available on the computers of visitors which may crease some problems. It's far better to utilize the usual but professional looking fonts. Designers could also limit the pictures they include to help keep the site nice and clean. They may also minimize graphics within their design. Most of the time, the white space presents a better overall appeal.

      April 14, 2012 at 15:04 | Report abuse |
  38. Flora

    My God, just legalize (or decriminalize) the real thing!! It seems like we're doing WAY more damage try to (semi-)obey the law than just disregarding it completely.

    Take pot off the books & spend the DEA's money going after drugs that REALLY mess people up.

    March 21, 2012 at 12:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Dave

    Can someone help me out here? I really don't understand why this is called "synthetic Marijuana". I understand that it is chemicals sprayed...on what? Is it sprayed on actual Marijuana? If so how can it be sold in stores? If not...what is it made from really. No article I have ever read says what it actually IS..or what chemicals are used for that matter either. Educate me please... Thanks!

    March 21, 2012 at 12:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Guard1an

      "I understand that it is chemicals sprayed...on what?" Good question. Since this type of product hasn't been regulated in the past, there is no assurance on what the chemical(s) are sprayed on....

      The above article is discussing what is often marketed as "herbal incense"; however, some brands market their products as "herbal smoking blends". A large and complex variety of synthetic cannabinoids have been used, most often cannabicyclohexanol, JWH-018, JWH-073, and/or HU-210 have been used in the past in an apparent attempt to avoid the laws that make cannabis illegal, making synthetic cannabis a designer drug. As of March 1, 2011, five cannabinoids, JWH-018, JWH-073, CP-47,497, JWH-200, and cannabicyclohexanol are now illegal (DEA ban) in the US because these substances have the potential to be extremely harmful and, therefore, pose an imminent hazard to the public safety.

      The real problem is that cannabis or marijuana is illegal. Since prohibition, designer chemicals have been created and continue to be created in a lab that are similiar at the molecular level to THC, a chemical that can be found in cannabis. However, there are other chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant that work together to create the healing properties and a sense of well being, which have yet to be duplicated in a lab. The "designer" chemicals have been sold in packages intended not for consumption, but for incense or sometimes as a smoking blend used with tobacco. Therefore, additional chemicals and/or ingrediants may be present other than what is actually listed on the package as regulations on the sale of these products have been previously lacking. In many states in the past, there has been no regulation surrounding the purchase of incense and therefore minors have been able to purchase it as easily as candy.

      Until pot is regulated and taxed like beer, there will be another designer drug tomorrow.

      March 21, 2012 at 14:46 | Report abuse |
  40. Dan

    Looks like everyone wants to get high! Ya keep passing laws, busting folks for smoking(whatever), bushing folks from growing, but they still want to get high! We're loosing the "war" and folks are getting high. Question? Are we loosing the war because the cops would be out of a job if we won (think about it), or because the war is nu-winnable, or because the war and laws are stupid and making an lot of people criminals, or because folks want to get high. Answer: all of the above. Grow up!

    March 21, 2012 at 12:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Ron Donaghe

    Not that I disagree with this commenter, but the mixed metaphor just made me laugh: "American society needs to get honest and forget the brainwashing that has been forced down our throats since Nixon." Brain washing forced down our throats...Anyway, yes, legalize marijuana already, empty out the jails, and if you can find a copy, read "Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do," it's a great book and an eye opener.

    March 21, 2012 at 14:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Justin Hale

      Peter McWilliams died choking on his own vomit,he had been using cannabis to control the symptoms of his illness,but he got busted and could not use cannabis. Just another victim of our stupid governments war on drugs,just ironic that the victim in this case authored a diffinitive book concerning civil rights,and the absurdity of laws against victimless crimes.

      March 26, 2012 at 14:25 | Report abuse |
  42. TheFour

    This is ridiculous. My 8 year old came home from school after "Say Boo to Drugs" week in October and explained to my wife and I how marijuana will ruin your whole life and none of your dreams will come true if you smoke pot.

    I told her the school was lying to her. I told her that many successful, productive members of society smoke pot. I told her that the reason I wanted to have this conversation with her was to tell her the truth. When you lie to a child and tell them that cannabis will totally ruin their lives, you're setting them up DO TRY ALL DRUGS!!!

    When they get to the age where their friends are smoking pot and they see that the sky in fact did not fall, they'll stop trusting you. If you said pot kills and it didn't maybe you were lying about heroin too.

    March 21, 2012 at 19:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Spencer

    So why isn't the real thing that hasn't killed anyone ever legal????!?!?!?!?!?

    Because our government is full of old ignorant stubbern backs of hot air that don't know what a thing called research is.

    March 21, 2012 at 21:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Justin Hale

    First off STOP associating this synthetic crap with MerryWanna,it's like calling denatured alcohol synthetic Vodka. The more "news" stories we see or hear that compare this crap with the real thing only encourages the ignorant to use it,after all natural MerryWanna is safe,just happens to be illegal and comes with a high price if the cops catch you,but some of this synthetic crap can be purchased OTC and it,in some areas,is legal.
    Second WHY did our federal government pay to have this synthetic crap developed? couldn't be so that they could tarnish the good name of MerryWanna could it? Nah,our government wouldn't lie to U.S. would they?

    March 26, 2012 at 13:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Mickey Rant

    I just flushed a vile of Wicked X down the toilet. It was given to me as a gift, I thought what the heck? After one puff – I was motivated to do the housework and was happy about it – I was hooked on THAT concept, lol – several months later I now realize I was hooked on more than just that! I quit for 3 days ... I am irritable, headaches, have flu-like symptoms, heart palpitations ... and I think about smoking it, alot. Last nite a couple glasses of wine was all it took to "convince" me to smoke it again. I am 56 yrs old, and potentially addicted? Christ – wish me luck as I tough this out. I will post another comment in a few days.

    March 28, 2012 at 13:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jmaximus

      I don't believe you. Fake weed makes you tired and is non-addicting. Sounds like you have some fake ecstasy not weed.

      April 14, 2012 at 00:04 | Report abuse |
    • 420 happy times

      Yeah i was addicted to for awhile strange thing is only thing that worked to help me threw it was to switch back to the good old real stuff which is by all means your best bet would be nice if everyone in the u.s that smokes the real deal would all just gather up like the million man march and just storm dc like to see them try to arrest every pot smoker in the u.s

      May 12, 2012 at 07:08 | Report abuse |
  46. free coupons online

    We are a group of volunteers and opening a brand new scheme in our community. Your site offered us with useful info to paintings on. You have done a formidable task and our entire community will likely be thankful to you.

    April 1, 2012 at 11:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Bill

    I would like to organize rallies in front of the business that sells this product to our youth. The State of Michigan supports and encourages the sale of this legal substance to our youth. Many bills hab been introduced to outlaw the use of the substance only to be shot down.

    April 11, 2012 at 21:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jmaximus

      The state of Michigan doesn't encourage anything. Go back to your Reagan nightmare and leave the rest of us freedom loving Americans alone.

      April 14, 2012 at 00:01 | Report abuse |
  48. Jmaximus

    I think Sanjay Gupta is just as dangerous as Fox News. CNN used to be an actual news outlet, now it is nothing but a sad joke.

    April 13, 2012 at 23:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Jmaximus

    Ever notice how the same people who are always crying about too much government are always the same people trying to outlaw everything in sight. Republicans and conservatives in general only care about limited gov for the billionaires and transnational corporations. Everybody else gets the police state.

    April 14, 2012 at 00:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. jon

    the side effects sound like the way i am normally and i never did k2 lol :\

    May 30, 2012 at 10:05 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.