The synthetic drugs K2 incense and “bath salts” have been linked to suicides, murders or overdoses in several states including Maryland, Michigan – Marquette specifically – and West Virginia. And despite state and federal legislation outlawing synthetic marijuana, K2 products are still being sold at Tom’s Party Store and Washtenaw Liquor, two local Ypsilanti stores.
K2 incense, commonly known as “spice,” is synthetic marijuana made by spraying dried leaves or incense with chemical compounds similar to THC; bath salts are synthetic stimulants commonly containing the insecticide Mephedrone and MDPV – ingredients which have already been banned across the U.S. – and causes similar effect as amphetamines, cocaine, LSD and MDMA.
Manufacturers of the chemicals are bypassing strict U.S. federal standards by combining legal chemicals to make the drugs and labeling them with the disclaimer: “Not for human consumption.” This loophole is why the drugs are available in corner stores, shopping malls, head shops and on the Internet.
Since 2010, K2 has been responsible for more than 4,000 calls to poison control centers around the country and it was once reported that a 19-year-old man stabbed his 4-year-old neighbor’s pet goat while wearing women’s undergarments.