Legal pot substitute ‘spice’ linked to Waikiki attempted murder - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Legal pot substitute ‘spice’ linked to Waikiki attempted murder

Bryan Roudebush Bryan Roudebush
Shirleen Benerji Shirleen Benerji
Alvin Bronstein Alvin Bronstein

By Holly Juscen – bio | email 

WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Spice or K-2 is a relatively new, legal way to get high. It's a sold as incense and comes in a small packet. When smoked it mimics the effects of marijuana.

It's a mixture of herbs and spices sprayed with a synthetic chemical similar to THC. The product is legal and it is being sold at almost every head shop on Oahu.

"There are no regulations on it, so anybody at any age can buy it" said Alvin Bronstein, medical director of the Hawaii Poison Control Center.

Honolulu police say 23-year-old Bryan Roudebush purchased spice and smoked it before beating his girlfriend and trying to toss her off a balcony Friday night at their Ala Wai Boulevard apartment.

Roudebush was described as being very aggressive with veins popping out of his neck. He is being charged with second-degree attempted murder.

Bronstein said violence has not been a common side effect.

"The number one effect is rapid heartbeat, followed by people becoming irritable and people being agitated.  Some people have reported being confused, pupils dilated."

An employee at South Shore Glass on Kapahulu Avenue said it's such a hot item right now that they are sold out.

Doctors say just because its legal doesn't mean it's safe. They emphasize it was never meant for human consumption and so little is known about it, that no one knows the long term effects.

It's most popular with 18 and 19-year-old males. Parents should be on alert.

"Unfortunately it can resemble other drugs of abuse. Certainly if their child is acting unusual in terms of their behavior, any changes like that, they would definitely need to get medical attention" said Shirleen Benerji, clinical coordinator of the Hawaii Poison Control Center.

Spice or K-2 is sold by the gram in small packets disguised as incense. While no deaths have been reported, authorities are urging people to call the Poison Control Hotline at 1-800-222-1222 if you suspect someone is suffering the side effects of smoking this substance. 

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