The Point Borough School District wants the community to be aware the state recently banned synthetic marijuana, which is being used in Ocean and Monmouth counties.
The district wants parents, as well as students, to understand the dangers of the drug, a chemical version of marijuana, which the state banned on Feb. 29.
The New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA) has sent a notice about the state ban to Point Borough and other school districts, said Jacquelyn Goss, district spokesperson.
Synthetic marijuana is a "designer drug that imitates the effects of marijuana," according to the NJSBA notice (see attached PDF).
"Synthetic marijuana, also known as 'K2,' 'Spice' and 'Incense,' is the third most commonly abused drug by high school seniors (after
marijuana and prescription drugs), according to the 2011 'Monitoring the Future' study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse," the notice says.
"The use of synthetic marijuana has side effects such as violent seizures, dangerously elevated heart rates, anxiety attacks and hallucinations, according to the institute," the notice says.
The NJSBA notice cites the state Attorney General's office as reporting that teens' use of the drug is on the rise and "70 percent of the synthetic marijuana cases last year originated in six of New Jersey's 21 counties: Middlesex, Ocean, Monmouth, Morris, Mercer and Atlantic."
To help increase public awareness about the threat these drugs pose, the district is adding the NJSBA document (see attached PDF) to the district website as well as individual schools’ Virtual Backpack feature on their school websites, Goss said.
"Additionally, the information has been distributed to the Student Assistance Counselors at the high school and middle school and has been shared with all school-based administrators and athletic coaches," Goss said.