Banned in Idaho, Spice trade good in Spokane

SPOKANE - While Governor Butch Otter signed an order banning ?Spice? sales in Idaho Friday, the incense, which some smoke to get high, remains legal in Washington, where local stores say business is still very good.

Herbal Discoveries opened up on North Monroe on Wednesday and one of the items they sell is spice. Store owner Venita Trujillo has no concerns about selling it whatsoever.

?There?s nothing illegal about it,? Trujillo said Friday. ?It?s used just as any other incense, the same, you burn it and the aroma helps you out.?

?The aroma gives you the effect of medical marijuana without the hassle.?

Spice is really nothing more than herbs sprayed with chemicals. However if smoked it can cause vomiting, agitation, increased blood pressure, seizures, tremors and hallucinations.

In Idaho, 80 people visited emergency rooms, because of spice, in a three-month period this summer. Nationwide, 352 people were hospitalized after smoking spice, in a three-month period this summer.

?It doesn't do anything to harm you,? Trujillo claimed.

While Trujillo is correct in saying there?s nothing illegal about it ? in Washington State ? there are many places where it is considered illegal. It?s been banned in several countries and on Friday Idaho became the 14th state in the Union to ban its sale.

Trujillo won't sell to anyone under 18, and if someone indicates they are going to smoke it, not use it as incense, she won't sell it to them. Having said that pipes that could be used to smoke it are sold in her store only feet away from the spice itself.

She calls the new Idaho ban on spice absurd and she's not worried about a Washington ban on her ability to sell spice any time soon

?Nicotine is addictive, people die of lung cancer but we still sell cigarettes,? she said.

What does the Spokane Police Department say about spice? Nothing. When contacted Friday morning, the police department not only hadn?t heard of spice being a problem, but hadn?t heard of it at all.