Three Louisiana State University football players have been placed on suspension after testing positive for synthetic marijuana.

According to a report by, synthetic marijuana use has been on the rise among athletes in recent years, due to the absence of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and the player’s ability to pass a drug test after use. But both law enforcement authorities and drug test technologies have been adjusting to the trend.

As the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange (JJIE) reported in November 2010, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) added five variations of synthetic marijuana to the official list of illicit drugs, placing a ban on the drug nationally.

In another report, sixty-four sailors from the San Diego-based U.S. Third Fleet have been expelled from the Navy for drug use, mostly involving the synthetic drug that mimics marijuana.

An increasing number of youth are turning to a herb-based product to get high. It is known as K2 or Spice, a synthetic substance that, when smoked, gives users a marijuana-like high, according to drug authorities. Its growing popularity is causing increasing alarm among healthcare professionals, law enforcement authorities and lawmakers.

Manufactured in Asia and sold online or in local stores, K2 and similar substances are marketed as herbal incense. Sold in various flavors in 3-gram bags, the product consists of herbs that are sprayed with synthetic substances that mimic THC, the high-causing natural chemical found in marijuana.