Naval Academy expels 3 more midshipmen for spice use

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By Daniel de Vise
Thursday, March 10, 2011; 12:21 PM

Three more midshipmen were expelled from the U.S. Naval Academy on Tuesday for use or possession of synthetic marijuana, or "spice," bringing to 11 the tally of mids "separated" in an ongoing investigation, officials said Thursday.

"In each case, it was other midshipmen who brought the allegations to the attention of Naval Academy leadership," the academy said in a statement, meaning the mids did not turn themselves in.

Academy leaders had previously indicated that the investigation was larger than the seven midshipmen expelled in its first stage. Ex-mids told me that spice has spread to the wrestling and football teams and across the rank and file of the brigade, although the full extent of its use remains a matter of some dispute.

Additional expulsions are widely expected; current and former mids told me that at least a half-dozen midshipmen have departed the academy over the past two weeks as a result of the investigation. Some may still be in the process of separation.

Mids took to smoking spice because it can't be detected in the random drug tests periodically required of them, and because of its quasi-legal status -- although that is rapidly changing.

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