• Synthetic Marijuana, K2 Incense, Becoming More of a Problem for Police and Poison Control Centers

    A new way to get high is becoming a growing problem for authorities and the people who abuse various products containing synthetic marijuana. Synthetic marijuana is a proprietary blend of herbs combined with chemical substances that get you high.

    Products containing synthetic marijuana mimic the effects of traditional marijuana. The products are largely unregulated and are generally available in local tobacco shops, drug officials said.

    The suspected drugs are packaged as potpourri or incense, under names such as “K2 incense,” “Black Mamba” and more. They are sold in small quantities such as 1, 3 or 4 grams.

    Most of the packaging on these products says “lab certified” or “Not for human consumption.” But experts say the sellers and the customers know smoking it can get you high. K2 incense and synthetic marijuana is marketed to consumers as a product to be smoked.

    “This incense is hundreds of times more expensive than the other incense, so it’s kind of sold with kind of a wink and a nod,” said Special Agent Will Taylor, a spokesman for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Chicago Field Division.

    “These store owners and people don’t care what happens,” Taylor said. “For them it’s all about making money.”

    In Illinois, House Bill 6459 bans two synthetic marijuana drugs, also known as K2 incense or “spice.” The law took effect Jan. 1.

    Kendall County State’s Attorney Eric Weis said he didn’t know of any area shops selling the illegal varieties, although only slight differences in chemical composition separate legal synthetic marijuana from the illegal substances. It seems that there will be a never ending cat and mouse game with the synthetic marijuana compounds, and law enforcement.

    Earlier this year, he said he was aware of only a few instances involving minors using synthetic pot in Kendall County. On Tuesday, he said his office is monitoring K2 incense and other varieties, but it’s not too pandemic.

    Weis said his office will prosecute those who use and sell K2 incense to the fullest extent of the law. K2 incense possession is classified as a class four felony. That could mean one to three years in prison or probation, which he said typically lasts about two years. Offenders could also face counseling or drug testing.

    For some people, the effects of smoking the synthetic weed will be much like smoking regular weed—some paranoia, some giddiness and bloodshot eyes. For others, products containing the synthetic substance can lead to severe panic attacks, high blood pressure, nausea and an increased heart rate.

    The drug, and its dangers, were widely publicized earlier this month when Karen Dobner said she suspected synthetic marijuana was a factor in her son’s June 14 death when he crashed his car in Batavia Township.

    Some of these attempts to get high end with a call for help. There are some serious synthetic marijuana health risks. The American Association of Poison Control Centers reported 2,874 calls related to synthetic marijuana nationwide in 2010. The centers this year already had 2,052 calls as of May 12.

    Illinois centers this year have already received double the number of synthetic marijuana calls than last year.

    “Synthetic Marijuana is very prevalent and it’s still out there and causing problems,” said Dr. Anthony Scalzo, medical director of the Missouri Regional Poison Center. “I can’t tell you the number of parents who have contacted me … I have talked to so many parents whose kids are so messed up fromsynthetic marijuana.

    The recent controversy surrounding synthetic marijuana seems to be pointing to the inevitable legalization of real marijuana.  The K2 incense, synthetic marijuana issue directly stems from the criminalization of real marijuana.  Read more about k2 incense contributing to the legalization of marijuana.

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  • The Legalization of Marijuana receives an unexpected boost: K2 Incense, Spice Popularity

    The legalization of marijuana might be receiving an unexpected boost from its lesser “cousins”: K2 incense and Spice (synthetic marijuana).

    Bobby Wiggins, Drug Prevention Specialist of Narconon International, says in the release, “The problem is manufacturing labs are able to make tiny alterations in the molecular structure of the THC-like derivative compounds used, which allows them to replace banned chemicals with new ones that have similar, but possibly more potent properties that are outside DEA jurisdiction.” The government can only ban specific chemical compounds they deem dangerous, not entire categories of products. Remember that K2 incense is marketed as incense, and marked “not for human consumption. The idea of limiting the scope of bans is a good thing. But companies can exploit this and stay one step ahead of the DEA by constantly changing their formula whenever the old one gets banned. I wouldn’t be surprised if they already have tested out dozens of different chemicals, in preparation for the seemingly inevitable intervention of the DEA. In theory, thousands of chemical compounds can be constructed to give THC like highs, and not be covered under individual bans.  K2 incense and synthetic marijuana, in theory, might help to force the legalization of marijuana.

    So what is the DEA to do? Just keep banning the next synthetic cannabinoid, knowing that the “incense” companies will be two, or ten, steps ahead of them? This will most likely lead to the drugs being much more dangerous with each new generation of fake pot. According to Narconon,  “Attributed deaths in 2010 were nine.” It’s terrible grammar, but you get the point. This stuff can actually kill you, unlike the drug it’s imitating (no one has ever died from consuming marijuana).  Will the legalization of marijuana stop these companies form manufacturing synthetic marijuana products? One would assume that the demand for synthetic marijuana will decrease due to the legalization of marijuana. Why buy a potentially more harmful substance if the natural, original alternative were legal

    The only way to stop these companies from creating dangerous marijuana imitations is to remove the penalties from using the real thing, IE the legalization of marijuana. The main reason people try fake pot is because it’s legal. Keeping the less-harmful, natural marijuana illegal is just steering people to use these knock-off products, which are incredibly dangerous. If someone wants to experiment with drugs, society might as well allow them to use the safest method, rather than encouraging them to resort to K2 incense or Spice.

    Whether you are pro legalization of marijuana, or against the legalization of marijuana, one can assume that something must be done about synthetic knockoffs which are infinitely more dangerous than the real thing.

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  • Therapists Warn of the Dangers of Synthetic marijuana, “K2 Incense”, and Spice

    Greensboro, NC — Smoking synthetic marijuana is proving to be

    more addictive and worse than your health than the real thing.

    Last year the number of people in emergency rooms from synthetic marijuana became a huge concern for law enforcement. In March, state legislators banned the sale of “K2 incense” and “Spice.”

    Now therapists say they’re treating people suffering from K2 incense addiction.

    Scott Kixmiller with The Ringer Center in Greensboro said “K2 incense” is stronger and more addictive than marijuana, making the withdrawal symptoms even worse.

    “When people ingest it they may not realize what they’re getting into,” said Kixmiller, a Provisionally Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist for The Ringer Center.

    Kixmiller said some of the withdrawal symptoms of synthetic marijuana are nausea, sweat, feelings of unrest, a racing heartbeat, heavy breathing and high blood pressure.  He said the synthetic cannabinoids, “stay in the body longer. So they are more of an attached fixture in the body than say marijuana.”

    He says the fact that the cannabinoids stay in the body longer also makes K2 more addictive than marijuana. Kixmiller has seen teens coming into The Ringer Center recently who are addicted to synthetic marijuana,  “K2 incense” and Spice.

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