In a state where recreational marijuana is legal, why are some people still using faux pot? That’s a question that arose from the recent indictment of two men in Jefferson Countyfor the “manufacturing, distribution and sale of herbal cigarettes laced with synthetic cannabinoid,” defined as “a chemical that is sprayed onto a plant-based material. Its most common street name is ‘spice.'”
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By next year, there may be as many as a thousand medical cannabis patients in northern Minnesota, though it’s seeming less and less likely that any of them will pick up their supplies in Duluth. Earlier this month, the city’s planning committee proposed a six-month moratorium on cannabis manufacturers or distributors, giving city officials time to consider how a facility would affect the homestead.
On Monday, city council president Linda Krug cited zoning concerns and asked, “Where would it have the least amount of destruction to neighborhoods and people’s lives?” But the city might not be having this discussion at all if it weren’t for Jim Carlson, owner of the Last Place on Earth, a downtown headship. He was sentenced recently to 17 and a half years in prison for allegedly selling synthetic drugs. Carlson maintains that he did nothing wrong: He sold incense and bath salts, some of which came with a warning not to consume. But consume people did — causing the city establishment to gasp.
We’ve been reporting about law enforcement agencies’ war on spice, a product popularly known as synthetic pot even though it has little in common with actual cannabis.
Now, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers — the newly minted Colorado Springs mayoral candidate featured earlier today in an interview with Kyle Harris — has brought the hammer down on one convicted spice purveyor: Sang Leaming, who owned the Longmont shop Tobacco King. A consent judgement on view below calls on Leaming to pay a $100,000 fine — the largest ever for a single store selling spice, the AG’s office maintains. Photos, details and the document over at The Latest Word.
Live free or die. It’s the New Hampshire motto, and one that is oddly appropriate in the wake of dozens of “synthetic marijuana” overdoses this week: if real, safe cannabis that has never, ever caused an overdose was legalized, these lab-made junk chemicals being passed off as a pot alternative wouldn’t be in demand.
Yesterday, New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan officially declared a state of emergency after more than 44 people were hospitalized after smoking chemicals commonly called “synthetic marijuana” purchased at convenience stores under the name “Smacked”.
New York City emergency rooms are seeing an outbreak of synthetic smokable drug-related illnesses, according to the city’s health department.
The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene issued a warning on Sunday urging people not to buy or use “synthetic cannabinoids,” which are often sold at head shops under names like K2, Spice, and Green Giant. The agency says it’s gotten reports of 15 fake weed-related emergency room visits over the past two days, concentrated in East Harlem, Central Harlem and Chelsea.
|Does this look anything like weed to you?|
We’ve been saying it for years now: syntheic marijuana is absolutely nothing like real marijuana whatsoever and doesn’t deserve the inaccurate moniker whatsoever.
And it seems the Baton Rouge, Louisana coroner agrees with us.
“This is a poison,” Dr. Beau Clark, East Baton Rouge Parish’s coroner, tells The (Baton Rouge) Advocate. “It’s not really anything like marijuana.”
Our partners at the Dallas Observer discuss how popular synthetic weed used to be in Abilene, Texas:
For a thankfully brief period in the mid-aughts, I lived in Abilene. Having experienced it in all of its splendor, I can say without hesitation that it is one of the most boring places on Earth. If you can avoid it, don’t go there, ever, for any reason.
If you do have to spend some time there, you should know that, according to a forfeiture complaint filed in federal court Friday, one of the substances that you might have sought out to alleviate your inevitable ennui might be in short supply.
In a perfect example of why it’s best — if you’re looking to run a successful drug empire — to keep the manufacturing and distribution arms of your outfit separate, the Drug Enforcement Administration moved to seize 35 financial accounts, six cars, jewelery, almost $20,000 in cash, seven gold Canadian “Maple Leaf” coins and 18 properties from Lawrence Shahwan of Lewisville, Gas Pipe head shop owner Jerry Shults and others associated with the Texas and New Mexico-based chain.
According to court documents, the seizure comes after a months-long investigation consisting primarily of federal agents going to Gas Pipe shops and purchasing what the documents call “synthetic marijuana,” but is more accurately described as a varying cocktail of hallucinogenic chemicals mixed with a plant base. The substance is packaged as potpourri or incense or something else that shouldn’t be ingested. Before July 2012, synthetic marijuana was legal. That month, President Obama banned it. It’s now just as illegal as actual marijuana. For more, check out the Dallas Observer.
The first dozen headed to Gainesville hospitals last Thursday and Friday. Although the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office has yet to release the victims’ names or ages, the one thing they certainly had in common was an affinity for Spice.
Although the drug typically produces a short high that can mostly be attributed to the placebo effect, one particular strand making its way around Gainesville is particularly potent. Yesterday, a man found behind Best Buy became the 29th person to suffer from seizures and convulsions after ingesting the fake weed (that isn’t even weed) that’s popular among people on probation and others who can’t/won’t smoke actual pot (WHICH NOTABLY IS USED TO TREAT SEIZURES).