Three Smithsburg High School students were taken to a hospital after they became sick Thursday morning while smoking synthetic marijuana known as “Spice,” according to police and school officials.
The male students, ages 18, 16 and 17, were smoking the substance in a car on Main Street between the fire station and the high school, said Lt. Tim Baker of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.
The students became ill, but more information on their medical conditions was not available, according to Washington County Public Schools spokesman Richard Wright.
Wright said Thursday afternoon that he was unsure which hospital the students were taken to.
Ambulance crews were called to the scene at 9:06 a.m., Baker said.
Smoking Spice has been an increasing problem, police have said.
During a work session with Hagerstown City Council on Tuesday, city police Sgt. Curtis Wood reported there have been seven incidents involving the potpourri-like substance that caused seizures and other dangerous reactions in 2011.
The incidents did not result in any deaths, Wood said.
Lawmakers have been trying to pass bills to make synthetic marijuana products illegal, but manufacturers of the substance have been staying one step ahead of legislation by making small alterations to its ingredients, Wood said.
What makes it so dangerous is that authorities — and users — have no idea what exactly is in it, police said.
Deputy 1st Class Kenny Barnhart, Smithsburg High’s school resource officer, is sending the substance used in Thursday’s incident to a crime lab to be analyzed, Baker said.
Smithsburg High School Principal Karim Shortridge referred questions about Thursday’s incident to Wright.
Wright said students who possess substances like Spice will face disciplinary actions from the school system.