WDAY: The News Leader

Published June 11, 2010, 02:20 PM

Herbs with similar effects to marijuana have been made illegal in ND

(WDAY TV) - We begin tonight with an update on a story we first brought you in January. At the time, they were legal herbs with similar effects to marijuana. Now those same herbs have been made "illegal" by the North Dakota state pharmacy board. The dilemma for police is, they're legal in Minnesota.

Since these new drugs became illegal in North Dakota, Fargo police have had 5 encounters finding 4 different blends of herb and incense mixes being abused.

"The ones we find are cannibinoids that they mimic a lot of the effects as marijuana."

Now that they're illegal, one concern for police is parents aren't familiar with the new drugs most commonly known as Spark 20, Fire N Ice and California Dreams.

"So they can recognize if they're kids are involved in this that these aren't incense."

Their other concern is for the users. Not only is it a felony to possess one of the drugs, but police say nobody really knows how dangerous they are.

"You really don't know what short term effects are and certainly don't know long term effects are. There are some short term studies out there showing some potential health hazards and withdraw issues."

Another battle for area officers, the drugs are still legal in Minnesota. Moorhead authorities say they are working with law makers and will hopefully soon adopt the same law banning the drugs.

"More instances happen as time goes which makes it more of a slam-dunk for everybody to use common sense and say certainly this should be illegal, why isn't it, and I think that will steam roll across the country."

Both Fargo and Moorhead authorities say new drugs will always keep popping up. Their job is to try and stay ahead of the drug users. Police say the incense blend has similar effects as marijuana because of a synthetic spray called "JHP" is put on the mix.