By Justin Jouvenal
“Spice” is back.
Just months after Virginia and dozens of other states banned synthetic marijuana, the chemists who make it have found a way to outfox lawmakers.
Spice manufacturers, who spray herbs with compounds that mimic the active ingredient in marijuana, have altered their recipes just enough to skirt the bans and are again openly marketing spice in stores and on the Web. Some users report that the new generation of products could be more potent than the original formulas, which have sickened hundreds nationwide and been linked to deaths.
Spice, commonly sold in colorful packets as “herbal incense,” is smoked to get high. A new National Institute on Drug Abuse study found that it is the second- most frequently used illicit substance among high school seniors, behind marijuana.
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