“It's not the harmless herbal drug that its always being claimed to be,” the government's drug policy coordinator Sabine Bätzing told the DPA news agency on Tuesday.
She said Health Minister Ulla Schmidt would sign a decree making the drug – sold as incense or to smoke – illegal by mid January.
“Several tests show it to be a cannabis-like substance, said Bätzing. “It has affects similar to cannabis, but the affect can be four times as strong.
Officials are worried the new recreational drug trend to smoke “Spice” among youths could lead to permanent physical damage. But because Spice, unlike marijuana, is sold legally in head shops across the country, authorities hands have been tied when it comes to preventing kids from buying it.
Recent weeks have shown a steep increase in reports of Spice misuse and health officials consider it a psychoactive substance that can lead to hallucinations and psychological problems.