'Spice' drug rule goes into effect Friday

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Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter on Friday will sign a temporary rule making the chemically-laced incense Spice illegal in Idaho.

Upon his signature, Spice will be considered a controlled substance, so retailers need to remove the substance, police said.

"Our goal is to gain voluntary compliance as soon as possible," Post Falls police Detective Neil Uhrig said.

Retailers can bring the substance into their local law enforcement agency, which will destroy it for free.

Spice, packaged under the names K2, Posh, Bliss and Stone, Ultra, Summit, Blonde, Yucatan Gold, Bombay Blue, Black Mamba, Genie and others, are herbs coated with a synthetic chemical that mimics a marijuana high when smoked.

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. It does not test positive in drug tests.

Otter said he 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.

The rule was proposed by the State Board of Pharmacy and supported by police.

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