Ruben Baler, a health scientist at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, said synthetic cannabinoids — the scientific term for synthetic weed — are a series of molecules made in a lab and are chemically related to THC and other plant-based cannabis. K2 and Spice are two common names for the drug, he said.
“It’s really difficult to regulate because it’s so easy to come up with a new, modified version that falls out of the provisions of the law,” Baler said. “You can make one molecule illegal and then in a week, they would come up with something that doesn’t fall within the constraints of that particular regulation.”
Elizabeth Forbes, director of the prisoner advocacy group NC-CURE, said she is unaware of any legislation that is being passed regarding the synthetic marijuana overdoses, but was told by state prison officials they were trying to enhance a training program on the inside for both staff and inmates.
Forbes said the information she has received from inside prisons contradicts these reports.