During the past three years Spice abuse has become a growing problem for the military. Since March 2011, a joint agency for the military has been conducting urine tests to check for Spice usage. The results showed clearly that the military has been abusing the synthetic designer drug. Of those tested more than half of the soldiers in the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines tested positive for Spice.
Easy Access To Spice
Spice is easy to get. It can be purchased from the Internet, in head shops, smoke shops, and even in some gas stations. In military base areas like North Carolina and San Diego the military conducted meetings with store owners and encouraged them to stop selling to soldiers completely. This caused some problems amongst the store owners who count on the military for the bulk of their sales. In fact, soldiers who come into these stores and are in uniform or present their military ID are usually offered attractive discounts.
Spice is attractive to military soldiers because it offers the same type of high as marijuana and it is easy to get and affordable. There is health risks involved with smoking Spice which is not surprising since the label clearly reads, “Not safe for human consumption”. Spice is one of the designer drugs that are a blend of herbal materials that is then sprayed with various chemicals.
Health Hazards of Spice
Spice is more potent than marijuana, but because it was legal it was fair game to everyone over the age of 18, including the military. However, Spice is causing users to experience extreme panic, hallucinations, vomiting, raised heart rates, seizures, and agitation. Clearly, these are not symptoms that the US military should be displaying and they should not be consuming anything that consists of experimental research chemicals.
Emergency rooms across the US are seeing more and more patients for Spice abuse and there are countless phone calls to 911 for the very same thing. People believe that because they bought Spice at a store that it is safe. Once they smoke it they freak out from the side effects and think they are dying. The numerous synthetic compounds like the chemicals HU-210 and JWH-018 make spice even more hazardous.
In 2011 the Navy administratively separated 16 sailors for using, buying, or selling Spice. These sailors were discharged to even further enforce the zero tolerance policy and to make examples about the seriousness of this synthetic imposter known as Spice. Naval spokesperson, Mark Ridley, made it clear that the military requires that everyone be of sound mind and there is no room for Spice or any other designer drug. The penalty is court martial charges, confinement, and a Bad Conduct Discharge. The message is that getting caught with Spice is just as bad as getting caught with heroin or cocaine.