In 2011, a new law went into effect which made the possession, manufacture or sale of synthetic marijuana illegal (NJSA 2C:35-10.3a). Up until then synthetic marijuana was legal and could commonly be purchased in smoke and head shops. Synthetic marijuana is a mix of herbal spices and/or incense which claim to give the same effect as actual marijuana. It was legally sold under such names as Spice and K2. Because the product was not regulated by the FDC its exact ingredients and effects varied.
Overdoses of fake pot reportedly resulted in violent seizures, elevated heart rates and even death. Selling or producing more than an ounce of the drug is a second degree crime punishable by up to 10 years in state prison while selling smaller quantities is a third degree crime punishable by up to 5 years in state prison. Possession of it can be either a third or fourth degree offense depending on the amount of the drug.