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Feds ban possession of fake pot

PLATTSBURGH - The federal government is cracking down on the possession of products labeled as herbal incense but that are used like marijuana. Chemically laced "fake pot" substances such as Blaze, K2, Spice, and Red X Dawn are among brands believed to produce a similar high to pot.

According to a press release from the Drug Enforcement Administration, side effects of the products include convulsions, anxiety attacks, dangerously elevated heart rates, increased blood pressure, vomiting and disorientation.

"Young people are being harmed when they smoke these dangerous 'fake pot' products and wrongly equate the products' 'legal' retail availability with being 'safe'," DEA administrator Michele M. Leonhart stated in the release. "Parents and community leaders look to us to help them protect their kids, and we have not let them down. Today's action, while temporary, will reduce the number of young people being seen in hospital emergency rooms after ingesting these synthetic chemicals to get high."Sixteen states have already taken legal action to control one or more of the chemicals found in the products.

Since 2009, the DEA has received an increasing number of reports from poison control centers, hospitals and law enforcement regarding these products. Sixteen states at least have already taken action to control one or more of these chemicals.

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