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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

DEA Bans Synthetic Marijuana


There are number of substances on the market that in the past have slipped through the cracks in the FDA's floor. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has decided to step up and take charge of enacting an emergency ban of five (5) different synthetic marijuana chemicals. Up until recently, you could purchase synthetic marijuana on the Internet and in select head shops; the DEA will run tests to see which of these drugs need to be classified as controlled substances permanently. "Synthetic marijuana" -- which had been sold legally as incense under brand names such as "K2" and "Spice" as well as many other names, these so-called "incense" are an herb-and-chemical compound that simulate the effects of the tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, in marijuana when smoked.

“Makers of these harmful products mislead their customers into thinking that 'fake pot' is a harmless alternative to illegal drugs, but that is not the case,” said Michele M. Leonhart, the acting administrator of the DEA. "Today’s action will call further attention to the risks of ingesting unknown compounds and will hopefully take away any incentive to try these products." Drugs like "Spice" and "K2" went through very few tests before being sold on the market, so there is no way of knowing the real harm that these drugs can cause to the human body. The fact that they could be bought legally has lead consumers to believe that smoking synthetic marijuana is harmless, which is simply not the case.

In response to a rise in reports from hospitals, poison-control centers, and law enforcement agencies since 2009, the DEA said they classified synthetic marijuana's as Schedule I substances. "At least fifteen states, several localities, and parts of Europe, previously had banned or restricted the products". The ban on these chemicals will last a year which will give authorities ample time to determine the real danger of these products. Chemicals like these should not be messed with and the fact that the DEA is going to the lengths that they are should support that idea.

Source:
NYTimes

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