|Photo: The Daily News Online|
|Black Mamba, a brand of synthetic marijuana, burns in a glass pipe. The vial the “incense” came in is in the foreground.|
Washington’s state Board of Pharmacy announced on Thursday that it plans to place an “emergency ban” on synthetic marijuana products.
What is popularly known as “synthetic marijuana” is sold as “incense” under product names such as K2, Spice and Black Mamba. The chemicals sprayed on herbal blends are synthetic analogues of marijuana’s main active ingredient, THC.
Users typically smoke the “incense” in ways similar to using cannabis, the board said.
The blends offer, at best, a weak simulation of the marijuana high. Users report that no “munchies” accompany the trifling high, which only lasts about 30 minutes. Combining alcohol with “synthetic marijuana,” unlike real pot, can result in a splitting headache.
|Photo: City Pages|
The board said it plans to file the rules in January, reports KIROtv.com.
Earlier this month, a man who lost control of his car and injured three pedestrians at the Pike Place Market in Seattle claimed he had smoked synthetic marijuana before driving.
It seems rather ironic that one loser blaming synthetic pot for the fact that he ran down three people with his car is enough to get the stuff banned statewide — while hundreds of alcohol-related deaths and vehicular accidents a year in Washington result mainly in discussions of how much money the state should be making off alcohol sales.
The board’s emergency ruling mirrors the federal Drug Enforcement Agency’s rules banning synthetic marijuana. The rules went into effect December 24 and will last at least a year while the government considers a permanent ban, reports Vanessa Ho at the Seattle P.I.
The board said its own state ban “is a more effective tool” for local law enforcement agencies than the federal ban.
The substance has already been banned in 12 other states.
The American Association of Poison Control Centers reported more than 500 cases of “bad reactions” to synthetic marijuana across the country, most of them probably naive teens who were spooked by sensationalistic press coverage.