USNA mids face expulsion over spice usage

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by Luigi59, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    USNA mids face expulsion over spice usage

    By Sam Fellman - Staff writer
    Navy Times
    Wednesday Dec 22, 2010

    Authorities are investigating as many as 10 Naval Academy midshipmen for the alleged peddling and smoking of spice, a legal marijuana-like designer drug that has been banned by the Navy, officials confirmed to Navy Times.

    Spice is one of the principal substances that is being investigated by academy officials and agents with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, said academy spokeswoman Deborah Goode. She added that midshipmen who are found guilty of violating the Navy’s drug policy will be disciplined and appropriate action taken.

    No midshipmen have been formally discharged so far for the usage of these drugs, Goode said. To be expelled, midshipmen must be separated from the academy and discharged from the Navy. The investigation began early in the fall semester after midshipmen alerted officials to spice usage in the brigade, Goode said.

    Citing an ongoing investigation, Goode declined to say how many midshipmen are under investigation. But an academy source with knowledge of the investigations told Navy Times that it involves five to 10 midshipmen. The source asked not to be named because he was not authorized to discuss the matter.

    An NCIS spokesman acknowledged that the investigation was ongoing, but declined to go into specifics.

    “NCIS became aware of allegations of drug use by midshipmen at the Naval Academy in recent months and has been conducting a criminal investigation into these allegations. The academy’s leadership has been kept fully informed of developments in the NCIS investigation and has been fully cooperative,” NCIS spokesman Bill Klein said in a written statement. “As a general rule, in the interest of investigative objectivity and the rights of the accused, NCIS does not comment on its ongoing investigations.”

    This makes the academy the latest in a string of spice incidents across the Navy, as the service combats a family of drugs that are undetectable through normal drug testing. Instead, users must confess or get caught red-handed. Last year, investigators busted 28 sailors at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla., and 15 crewmembers on the carrier George Washington for spice possession. In March, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead prohibited Navy personnel from using the drugs, then legally available in gas stations, convenience stores and smoke shops.

    The Drug Enforcement Agency recently followed suit. It banned synthetic marijuana products in an emergency measure issued on Nov. 24, which makes possession or sale of these drugs, or the chemicals used to make them, illegal for a year. The agency and the Department of Health and Human Services are studying whether to make these products illegal permanently.

    “Spice,” the common term for synthetic marijuana, is just one brand name. These designer drugs — with street names like K2, Bliss, Black Mamba, Cahoots, Genie, and Zohai — are a mix of herbs and spices coated with a synthetic compound that mimics the affects of THC, the psychoactive chemical in marijuana, according to a DEA fact sheet.

    Smoking it produces a high similar to marijuana. “Some users make it into tea,” the fact sheet adds. Usage can also trigger panic attacks, paranoia, and giddiness, according to DEA. Despite these physiological effects, the products are often labeled as incense.

    “Makers of these harmful products mislead their customers into thinking that ‘fake pot’ is a harmless alternative to illegal drugs,” Michele Leonhart, acting head of the DEA, said in a statement. “That is not the case.”
     
  2. Maximus

    Maximus Member

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    I'm sure we'll find out "after" the Bowl game :wink: :yllol:

    It's only been a matter of time till this one popped up, our local PD had some problems with members smoking spice.
     
  3. Maximus

    Maximus Member

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