Bill To Ban Imposter Marijuana
Special Report - January 31, 2011
Three of the first bills filed in the State Senate this session would ban a dangerous new drug known as “K2,” which is marketed as “incense” but imitates the effects of marijuana. K2, also known as “spice,” is currently legal in North Carolina, and is typically sold at convenience stores, gas stations, tobacco shops, and online. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), K2 “is a mixture of herbs and spices that is typically sprayed with a synthetic compound chemically similar to THC, the psychoactive ingredients in marijuana.” SB 4, SB 9, and HB 12, all entitled “Make Synthetic Cannabinoids Illegal,” would “add synthetic cannabinoids to the list of controlled substances,” making the possession, manufacture, sale or delivery of K2 or similar substances illegal in North Carolina. Nine Senators have sponsored one of the two senate versions of the bill, while 23 representatives sponsored the House version. SB 4 is currently in the Senate Judiciary II committee.
SB 9 and HB 12 would institute a broader ban than SB 4, which exempts synthetic cannabinoids that are “listed as a controlled substance in Schedule II through VI [or are] FDA approved.” SB 9 and HB 12 also include a felony level punishment for “Any person who sells, manufactures, delivers, transports, or possesses in excess of 35 grams of a synthetic cannabinoid.” SB 4 does not address the section of the law that deals with punishment.
K2 is typically ingested or smoked by users, and its effects are thought to be five times as powerful as the effects of marijuana. The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) reports that K2 was linked to more than 2,500 calls to poison control centers nationwide in 2010. In November 2010, the DEA issued a “notice of intent” to place a temporary ban on the sale and possession of five substances that are used to make K2 and other fake marijuana products, while the agency studies the effects of these drugs.
To date, at least 11 states have banned the chemical substances used to make synthetic marijuana (or K2), according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Similar bills are pending in over a dozen other states this year.
“The young people who are purchasing K2 may have no idea how strong K2 really is,” Sen. Vaughan, sponsor of SB 4, said in his January 20 newsletter. “It's a dangerous drug and should not be in the hands of those people that are driving on our highways.”
Historic Session Began Today - January 26, 2011
The Dangers of Medical Marajuana - FNC - January/February 2009
Teen Pot Use Linked to Depression and Suicide - May 20, 2008
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