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Saturday, December 3, 2011

28 Sailors booted for Illegal Drug Use

The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan
SAN DIEGO -- The Navy's war on the synthetic drug called Spice is continuing, with an announcement Monday that it is discharging 28 Sailors assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan for using it.

The announcement comes only a month after a similar investigation into illegal drug use led to the dismissal of 64 other Sailors from the San Diego-based U.S. Third Fleet that includes the Reagan. Some of the 64 were assigned to the USS Carl Vinson, the carrier from which Osama bin Laden was buried at sea. The 28 Sailors were part of six probes conducted by the Navy in the past month. The Navy has banned the use of fake pot, and officials have been aggressively investigating its use among Sailors.
The drug is a mixture of herbs and chemicals that mimic the active ingredient in marijuana but with more serious side effects that can include headaches, seizures, numbness or paralysis. Spice first appeared in Europe before being introduced in the United States and was temporarily banned by the Drug Enforcement Administration last year before being added to the federal government's list of banned substances in March.
Take an herbal plant mixture, soak it in a cocktail of chemicals and you get some “incense” that, essentially, mimics the effects of cannabis. It’s called “Spice”.
Following the earlier bust that included Sailors from the Vinson the Navy launched a fleetwide campaign against Spice, which mimics the effects of marijuana. The information campaign included a video and posters distributed to Navy bases around the world, the newspaper Stars & Stripes reported on Nov. 9. The synthetic drug can be mixed with completely different and very hazardous additives, according to the video.

"Spice causes elevated blood pressure, tremor, seizures, vomiting, abdominal pain and more," according to Navy Medicine’s website. "Several reported episodes of heart damage have been reported with Spice use."

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