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Fake pot causing a real problem in the Lowcountry - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Fake pot causing a real problem in the Lowcountry

Police say a designer drug is causing a real problem. A high school student was caught with the synthetic drug, which is similar to marijuana, on school property in Mt Pleasant. Health care officials say this is just one example of a growing problem.

"In the last six months, I've seen a real rise in it," said Connie Murray, a nurse at East Cooper Regional Medical Center.

Murray says she is concerned about the growing number of people coming to emergency rooms after smoking a synthetic drug called K2 Spice.

K2 is a legal drug that mimics a marijuana high, but Murray says it's far more dangerous.

"There have been some frightening side affects from it that you just don't see with marijuana," Murray said.

Some of those side affects include psychotic episodes, hallucinations and violent tendencies.

Mt. Pleasant police said a Wando High School student was caught with K2 in her car on campus last week. She was arrested because police also found drug paraphernalia in the car, according to the report.

Health officials and parents said they want K2 banned.   But for now, it's not too hard to find.  It can be found at some gas stations and tobacco shops.

K2 was banned by the DEA last year because of certain drugs it contained. It is now made without those drugs, but Murray says it is still a health risk.

"They don't know a lot about it because there's never been studies on it because this stuff was never intended for human ingestion," Murray said.

Experts said K2 was originally intended to be an herbal incense and has been on the shelves since 2006.

No official studies have been done to test its effects on humans.

Because it is not intended for consumption, there are no age limits on buying K2.

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