Synthetic Marijuana Back on the Market
Despite federal authorities banning the drugs months ago, synthetic marijuana has made a comeback. Now not only is it being sold in shops and via the Web, but it’s also legal. Developers have altered the strain so that the chemicals made illegal by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration are not present, thereby allowing it to be sold. Now the fake pot is under the guise of “incense.” One of the most famous brands of the synthetic marijuana is called Barely Legal, as it is “legal in all 50 states.”
Synthetic Cannabis Sidesteps Marijuana Ban
Florida investigators say that Barely Legal is part of the new advent of “fake weed” products, specifically designed to get around the ban on marijuana. Synthetic marijuana is presented as incense or potpourri, but in spite of its warning labels (“Not for human consumption”), even police are aware of the real purpose behind it. According to the website hosting the product, Mr. Nice Guy, as well as the police, this most recent strain is actually stronger than the one previously made.
How The New Drugs Work
Synthetic marijuana is effective because it duplicates the effects of THC, the main chemical in marijuana. This form of “fake weed” first became popular in Europe during the 90’s, and thereafter spread to the U.S. In a crackdown effort on the drugs, the DEA put a ban extending to a year on the substance. A new Florida law will take effect Friday, making the possession or sale of less than three grams of synthetic marijuana a misdemeanor, and more than three grams a third-degree felony.
Synthetic Marijuana Harsher Than the Real Stuff
Since this new strain is technically legal, it can be easily obtained online, in smoke shops, or even in gas stations. Wendy Stephan of the Florida Poison Information Center in Miami explained that, when the ban on synthetic marijuana was made, overdose calls became fewer in number. With this new version of the synthetic cannabis, however, the numbers have gone right back up, and with worse results. “It’s not the mellow marijuana experience people are expecting,” she warned. Dr. Anthony Scalzo, toxicology professor at Saint Louis University, cited intense irritability, increased heart rate and blood pressure, nausea (leading to vomiting), and even hallucinations, shaking and seizures as some of the side effects. He described the chemicals used to make synthetic marijuana as “neither natural nor safe.”
“Fake Weed” Leads To Real Consequences
In just this year so far, nearly 200 cases of overdoses on synthetic marijuana have been reported in the state of Florida alone. Last year abuse of the substance lead to the deaths of one Tampa and one Orlando man. Palm Beach County police obtained warrants to search 800 deliveries of the “fake weed” via mail, but due to the present legality of the substance, could only test them before they had to be returned.
In this article you learned about the reappearance of synthetic marijuana, a once-banned substance by federal authorities. The creators of the drug have this time altered the strain, enabling it to be sold legally. Authorities won’t be deterred so easily, however, and are looking into potential solutions to ban the synthetic cannabis forever.
– Article originally from Secaucus New Jersey News.