Two popular synthetic drugs, K2 and bath salts, have been outlawed in North Carolina. The new law states that bath salts, which mimic the effects of cocaine, have a high risk of being abused, and have no currently accepted medical use in the U.S.
The law also states that K2, or ‘Spice,’ mimics the effect of marijuana when smoked, the Winston-Salem Journal reports.
Barbara Correno, a spokeswoman for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), told the newspaper that North Carolina has joined 17 other states that ban the sale and use of synthetic marijuana. She said that bath salts are more challenging, and added that the DEA is weighing whether to regulate bath salts on a federal level.
Figures from the American Association of Poison Control Centers show at least 2,700 people have gotten sick from synthetic drugs since January, compared with fewer than 3,200 in all of 2010. At that rate, medical emergencies stemming from synthetic drugs could rise nearly fivefold by the end of 2011. The drugs are suspected in at least nine deaths in the U.S. since last year.