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Spice: Utah's legal alternative to smoking pot



I loved smoking. For 15 years I choked down three packs a day, obliterating my taste buds and god knows what else with an eclectic range of smokes. On occasion I'll wonder into tobacco stores to ponder my fantasy of picking up the filthy habit once again, until the lung rattling cough of a smoker scares me away. On a recent visit I asked about a drug several sources had mentioned to me called Spice. Turns out Spice is a legal way to get high and an expensive one to boot.---

Spice has been around in Europe for 10 years. It's effect is comparable to smoking pot. You need to smoke three Spice roll-ups for your system to store enough of the natural drug for it to have an effect. The price, according to several stores I consulted, ranges from $20s to the high-$50s for a small container -- about five cigarettes worth. The top player in this market is a U.K. company, although most of those available here are from California.

Spice has taken off in Utah, it seems, where it first became available several months ago. One store owner I talked to, who requested anonymity, says he sells it as incense. "What my customers do with it is their affair," he says. Indeed the packaging, which resembles condom wrappers, specifically states it's not for human consumption. Much of the demand, the owner says, comes from youngsters on probation looking for a high that would leave their urine analysis clean.