K2, 'Synthetic Marijuana' To Be Banned By Regional Business Group, Detroit Police Department

Detroit police and members of a regional business association will announce a joint effort to enforce a ban of "K2," a brand of "synthetic marijuana," at a press conference Wednesday.

The Tri-County Business Community's declaration follows a June 5 emergency order by Detroit Mayor Dave Bing prohibiting the sale of "synthetic marijuana," which has been sold at local gas stations under names like "K2" or "Spice." The decree also banned a synthetic substance known as "bath salts."

Members of the 4,000 member business association -- 300 of whom are located in Detroit -- are pledging to stop selling K2 and report others who do to the police.

The Michigan legislature recently passed several bills aimed at prohibiting the substance. The Detroit Free Press reports these bills would update the state's restrictions on chemicals used to make synthetic drugs and allow the state to ban substances the Department of Community Health considers an immediate threat to people's health.

The controversy has some marijuana advocates concerned about what many people are calling the substance.

Matt Abel, is a local attorney and the campaign director for Committee for a Safer Michigan, a group working to legalize marijuana in Michigan.

"'Synthetic marijuana' is not marijuana at all," he told the Huffington Post in an email, "nor are the chemicals in 'Spice' et al anything close to THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis."

He claimed that while the synthetic substance can be lethal, "cannabis will not kill you, nor harm you physically in any way."

A recent report that appeared in the journal Pediatrics linked the synthetic drug to high blood pressure, heavy sweating, heart palpitations, muscle rigidity, and convulsions and has raised concerns about "long term cognition problems, memory loss, and psychosis" in teenagers.