|These synthetic smokables do not resemble marijuana.|
Stephane Colbert says her 19-year-old son died in 2011, allegedly after he smoked a synthetic, lab-made c compound called “Mr. Smiley” that many news outlets are calling “synthetic marijuana”..
Synthetic weed was banned federally in May of 2011 but Nicholas Colbert still was able to purchase some of the stuff in September of that year from a neighborhood Kwik Stop in the Springs.
“The suit is an effort to stop convenience stores, gas stations, and other retail outlets from selling deadly Spice and other synthetic drugs, which contain harmful, and often illegal, chemicals,” wrote Stephane Colbert’s attorneys in a press release. “Nicholas Colbert’s life was ended by a dangerous drug sold over the counter at a convenience store, and we want to stop this from occurring again.”
We wanted to stop here and note that the attorneys use the term “synthetic drugs” here and we think it is appropriate. We should make it clear that what is commonly called “synthetic marijuana” has almost nothing to do with actual marijuana and the name itself is borderline insulting to the beautiful, wonderful and healing cannabis plant. Most of the time it is untested research chemicals ordered from China and sprayed on various legal herbs.
Basically: it’s the synthetic, smokable version of club drugs that come from a lab in Jah-knows-where. Synthetic cannabinoids may or may not have any actual benefit, but we’re not here to argue that. We would just prefer it not be associated with ganja. Therefore, we’re using the term “synthetic smokables” from now on.
Despite the synthetic smokables being illegal, storefronts still regularly sell them in the Denver area. Often what is being sold is chemically different enough from the banned substances to fall into a legal gray area, or so the sellers think.
For example, Denver’s 9News quotes a father who took his son to the hospital the day after the kid smoked some synthetic shit. “He didn’t have strength,” the father said of his son to 9News. “His body was just like all loose. He couldn’t sit. He couldn’t stand. He couldn’t talk. He couldn’t even keep his eyes open, couldn’t stand up. He had to hold onto the wall.”
Doesn’t sound like any cannabis I’ve ever smoked. And I’ve smoked a lotof cannabis.
The attorneys said that Colbert’s lawsuit would be the start of an ongoing campaign against synthetic smokables. The lawsuit comes on the heels of a rash of hospitalizations in Colorado for people who allegedly smoked the quasi-illegal substance, including as many as three people suspected of dying after smoking the stuff.
The Colorado Department of Health and Environment have launched an investigation into the incidents.