Smoking incense is a legal high in some states

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - A chemically enhanced incense sold legally in Alabama and most states is at the center of a heated debate.

Some call it legal pot, but it's being sold as potpourri. Alabama is one of only a few states now saying the ingredients for this incense will be illegal. 

It's sold by names like K-2, Serenity Now, and Spice. Incense users say they can get high without getting in trouble.

Deborah Soule with the Partnership for a Drug Free Community in Madison County said national cases of irregular heart beats and dizzy spells have her worried.

"We've had phone calls from parents from local schools who know that the students are using it and are very concerned about it," said Soule. 

The Partnership is well aware of the product and so are drug agents like Sgt. Dewayne McCarver with the Madison/Morgan Strategic Counter Drug Team, or STAC.

"At some point we have to say, 'look it's dangerous to do certain things.' It may be legal in most places, but it's crazy," said McCarver. 

The compounds are legal in surrounding states, online, and in Alabama, at least until Governor Bob Riley signs House Bill 697 into law. 

"You're really playing Russian roulette with your life when you do that," added McCarver about using the incense. 

This incense is causing more than a stir in the minds of its users, and it's also not the cheapest thing on market.

It's about the same size as a pouch of hot cocoa, but this incense costs $45.

Drug agents say products like these could ultimately overload an already massive workload which includes cocaine, meth, and marijuana.

"There are so many things out there right now that we have to enforce, that we need to dedicate our time to. It's unfortunate that these things are popping up, because it really waters it down," said McCarver. 

McCarver said the best way at stopping the new craze is as simple as the old adage: Just say no.

©2010 WAFF. All rights reserved.