Synthetic Marijuana Becomes Illegal
December 2, 2010
The Drug Enforcement Agency has taken emergency action to outlaw five chemicals
(JWH-018, JWH-073, JWH-200, CP-47,497, and cannabicyclohexanol) that are used to
make synthetic marijuana, meaning it will be illegal to possess or sell them in
the U.S. for at least one year.
The chemicals used to make "fake pot" products, known by a number of different names such as K2 and Spice, will be studied by the Department of Health and Human Services to determine whether the chemicals and the products should be permanently controlled, the DEA said in a statement.
After no fewer than 30 days, DEA will publish in the Federal Register a “Final Rule to Temporarily Control” these chemicals for at least 12 months with the possibility of a six-month extension. They will be designated as Schedule I substances, the most restrictive category, which is reserved for unsafe, highly abused substances with no medical usage.
During the past year, herbal blends marketed as “incense” and as being "legal" for a marijuana-like high, have become increasingly popular. These products consist of plant material that has been coated with research chemicals that mimic THC and are sold at a variety of retail outlets, in head shops and on the internet.
The DEA has received an increasing number of reports from coalitions, poison centers, hospitals and law enforcement officials regarding these products.
Fifteen states have already taken action to control one or more of these chemicals. Alabama was one of these states. Deborah Soule, Executive Director of Alabama’s Partnership for a Drug-Free Community, whose coalition worked on a state-wide ban, said having a DEA agent as part of their coalition helped their cause.
“The DEA’s action is evident of an outcome to what coalitions can do,” she said.