Wash. pharmacy board bans synthetic marijuana

Wash.  pharmacy board bans synthetic marijuana
File photo by Wikimedia Commons user "Schorle"
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - The Washington state pharmacy board has voted to ban the sale and possession of synthetic marijuana.

The board's emergency rule mirrors new Federal Drug Enforcement Administration rules banning five chemicals used to make synthetic marijuana.

The federal ban went into effect Dec. 24 and will last at least a year while officials consider a permanent ban.

Synthetic marijuana is sold in smoke shops as incense but health officials say it is an intoxicant when burned and inhaled. It is sold under names like K-2, Spice and Black Mamba.

State officials say a state rule is a more effective tool for law enforcement than the federal ban.