New Jersey Bans Synthetic Marijuana
One of the main reasons for the ban are the unpleasant side effects that users of synthetic marijuana can suffer. According to health care providers, anxiety attacks, convulsions, nausea, hallucinations and increases in blood pressure and heart rates are typical side effects. In more severe cases, users can experience seizures, heart attacks and schizophrenia-like psychological conditions.
Health problems caused by the use of synthetic marijuana have caused New Jersey’s Poison Control centers to experience a 711 percent increase between 2010 and 2011. Nearly all of the cases required hospitalization.
Details of the Ban
Thomas Calcagni, director of the Division of Consumer Affairs, issued the ban by the powers granted to him under the New Jersey Controlled Substances Act to restrict the availability of chemical substances that have a high potential for abuse and no medicinal value. The ban is temporary in nature and is in effect for 270 days, giving time for the legislature to act to make it permanent.
Violation of the ban results in criminal penalties just like any other drug offense. Anyone who manufactures, sells, distributes or possesses synthetic marijuana can be charged with a third-degree crime. If convicted, a suspect can be fined up to $25,000 and imprisoned between three and five years.