WTF is Synthetic Marijuana?

Apparently some Coast Guard cadets are being expelled –or whatever happens to Coast Guard cadets — for using “synthetic marijuana.”

I’ve got to look this one up. Let’s consult Wikipedia:

Synthetic cannabis is a psychoactive herbal and chemical product that, when consumed, mimics the effects of cannabis. It is best known by the brand names K2[1] and Spice,[2] both of which have largely become genericized trademarks used to refer to any synthetic cannabis product. (It is also for this reason that synthetic cannabis is often referred to as spice product, due to the latter.) A type of synthetic cannabis sold in Australasia is known as Kronic.

Research on the safety of synthetic cannabis is only now becoming available. Initial studies are focused on the role of synthetic cannabis and psychosis. It seems likely that synthetic cannabis can precipitate psychosis and in some cases it is prolonged. These studies suggest that synthetic cannabinoid intoxication is associated with acute psychosis, worsening of previously stable psychotic disorders, and also may have the ability to trigger a chronic (long-term) psychotic disorder among vulnerable individuals such as those with a family history of mental illness.

It doesn’t appear to really be illegal, but unlike real marijuana it has been known to cause psychosis…and we spend millions of dollars chasing hippies down in the woods for growing the real thing so…uh…that makes tons of sense. It reminds me a lot of sugar substitutes.

Next time, kids, smoke the real stuff and accept the misdemeanor if you get caught ’cause the fake stuff sounds dangerous.