New Jersey’s temporary ban on all variants of synthetic marijuana is now permanent, under a regulation formally adopted by the state Division of Consumer Affairs.

Stacy Proebstle, Townsquare Media

This means the manufacture, distribution, sale, and possession of all of the hundreds of possible variants of the dangerous, manmade drug, which is commonly known by brand names such as "K2," "K3," "Spice," "Kush" has been outlawed.

Jersey Attorney General Jeff Chiesa said, “These synthetic poisons, once offered as a so-called ‘legal high’ by shady retailers, are now permanently off the market in New Jersey – and the numbers indicate our ongoing ban has led to a decline in their reported use. These drugs have grown in popularity nationwide, despite their alarming and catastrophic side effects.  Today they are permanently on record as being just as illegal as cocaine or heroin.”

Synthetic marijuana has been linked to dangerous side effects including violent seizures, dangerously elevated heart rates, anxiety attacks, and hallucinations, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Some users have committed suicide or suffered fatal injuries after suffering extreme panic attacks caused by synthetic marijuana use. Reports published in peer-reviewed journals associate synthetic marijuana use with psychosis in some patients.

Eric Kanefsky, Acting Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs said, “New Jersey’s law enforcement agencies now have the tools they need to shut down the sellers of these toxic drugs, and keep them away from anyone misguided enough to use them.”

The Division of Consumer Affairs had introduced a temporary ban back in February.  The permanent regulation formally took effect last week following a public hearing and public comment period, and upon publication in the current edition of the New Jersey Register.