After providing an opportunity for the public and retailers to take the appropriate actions, Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter today approved a temporary rule proposed by the State Board of Pharmacy adding chemicals commonly found in a substance known as "Spice" to the list of controlled substances in Idaho.
The 2011 Legislature will consider permanently adding the chemicals in Spice, which mimic the active ingredient in marijuana, to Idaho's list of controlled substances. But with growing community concerns, the Governor said it was important to be aggressive in addressing the problem.
"I appreciate the local communities that already have acted to impose their own restrictions on Spice. Along with the Board of Pharmacy and the State Office of Drug Policy, our local units of government and law enforcement agencies are working together to get this dangerous substance off our streets," Governor Otter said. "We are the 14th state to take action like this, and I'm confident we won't be the last. No doubt producers will try to skirt the ban, but I encourage all Idahoans to join me in protecting the health and safety of our citizens."
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.