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Hot at the Naval Academy: Synthetic Pot

Drug tests don't detect it, say current, ex-midshipmen
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 28, 2011 4:34 PM CST
Hot at the Naval Academy: Synthetic Pot
United States Naval Academy midshipmen walk into the academy's stadium for their graduation ceremony May 28, 2010.   (Getty Images)

So-called synthetic marijuana is widely smoked at the US Naval Academy, say some midshipmen who were kicked out of the Academy for using it. The drug appeared on the campus last year and quickly grew in popularity due to the fact that it cannot be detected in routine urine tests, former and current midshipmen tell the Washington Post. The Naval Academy launched an investigation that has thus far booted eight from the school; people familiar with the investigation said they expected the number of expelled students to top 12.

Synthetic cannabis, often called "spice," is legal in Maryland, but is banned by the US military, including at its academic campuses. The students the Post spoke with reported ordering spice online, or arranging shipments from friends; it would arrive in empty Pringles cans or in hollowed-out books; they'd hide it in their cars, or sports lockers. "You know, your days begin at 5:30 and they end at 11:30 at night," said one. "Basically, spice took me into another world. It released so much of the stress." But when a midshipman who was smoking synthetic pot started having seizures in December, a friend told 911 responders what they had been smoking. That friend has been expelled, and the investigation has gathered steam since. Click for more on spice. (Read more Navy stories.)

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