Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter announced today that on Friday, October 15th, he will sign a rule proposed by the State Board of Pharmacy adding chemicals prevalent in a substance known as "Spice" to the list of controlled substances in Idaho.
After consulting with the Board of Pharmacy and the Office of Drug Policy, the Governor determined that the additional time was needed to provide notice to the public and retailers so they can return the product or destroy it before the ban takes effect.
"We also are asking law enforcement to help retailers before the ban on Spice goes on the books by taking control of excess merchandise so it can be properly destroyed," Governor Otter said. "The key here is working closely with everyone involved -- from consumers and retailers to regulators and law enforcement -- to ensure this is more than a gesture. We are concerned about the impact of Spice on our citizens, and we want to address it by giving people the information and other tools they need to act responsibly."
Spice is an herbal plant mixture soaked in chemical compounds. The compounds were developed to mimic the active ingredient in marijuana -- tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). One chemical under the proposed rule -- HU-210 -- is considered a controlled substance by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The other compounds commonly found in Spice are either listed as chemicals of concern by the DEA and are in the process of being temporarily listed under the Federal Controlled Substance Act or are analogues of such compounds.
Spice also is packaged as K2, Genie, Ultra, Summit, Blonde, Yucatan Gold, Bombay Blue, Black Mamba and many other names.
A survey of Idaho hospitals between February and August reported more than 80 emergency room visits in that six-month period. Spice is sold as an incense and "not for human consumption" as a means to avoid legal requirements and regulations. Governor Otter is approving the rule to protect public health and safety. Thirteen other states also have banned one or more of the chemicals considered under the proposed rule. The 2011 Legislature will consider permanently adding the chemicals in Spice to Idaho's list of controlled substances.