Drug Policy

The DEA Banned Fake Pot, but What Will It Do About Simulated Fake Pot?


Last week the Drug Enforcement Administration imposed an emergency ban on five chemicals used to make the ersatz marijuana known as K2 or spice. But John W. Huffman, the chemist who synthesized three of the compounds for research purposes, tells the Associated Press there are "countless" potential replacements: substances that mimic the effects of THC, marijuana's main active ingredient, but are not covered by the Controlled Substances Act. Although the act includes an "analog" provision aimed at such end runs, it arguably applies only to substances that not only simulate THC's psychoactive effects but are also structurally similar, which the chemicals in the K2/spice sprays are not. A.P. reports that "Mark Tucci, owner and CEO of Custom Blends Tobacco of Hilton Head, S.C., said he's already heard from suppliers who have promised new products with different chemicals that comply with the new regulations."

Huffman, by the way, had this to say about the three compounds he developed:

They are dangerous, and anyone who uses them is stupid. They seem to be pretty toxic.

Which reinforces my point that prohibition makes drug use more dangerous—in this case by driving people to use little-known and possibly hazardous replacemements for a drug that the DEA's own chief administrative law judge once called "one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man."

I recently discussed this issue on Russia Today's Alyona Show.

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  1. They want drug use to be more dangerous, Jacob. Filthy drug users deserve what they get.

    1. Take a long, hard look at the Reason Gear Girl and then tell me again that’s how it should be.

    2. Exactly. Enough drug warriors have made this explicit that I’m surprised anyone can question it. From ending needle sharing programs, to poisoning alcohol during prohibition, to spraying pot with paraquot, these shitbags want to hurt or kill people who violate their personal morality.

      I’ve heard a few explicitly applaud Mao Zedong for his mass-murder of opium addicts, and their wish to adopt policies similar to Singapore and other Asian countries where mere possession can result in the death penalty.

      They’re fucking vermin. The average heroin dealer is a better human being than these scum.

  2. I was pretty upset about this at first but I went into the head shop yesterday and chatted with them about it. They already have a replacement product and it produces almost the same effect. Suck on that DEA.

    1. I’ll further add that one of the reasons I’ve almost entirely switched to these legal alternatives is that they are amazingly consistent both between bags and within the bag itself. Further proof that keeping things legal improves quality even without ANY government regulation as is the case with theses “incenses.”

  3. Would it be an act of war if they banned simulated maple leaves?

    1. Banning Aunt Jemima would merely declare a war on disgusting food.

      1. I was thinking of that country that has a maple leaf on its flag. What do they call it? Jemimaia?

      2. I thought some people had already declared that? There’s already a war on low-rent and disgusting ways of mixing caffeine and alcohol, as opposed to the noble Irish coffee.

    2. Only if the maple leaves are Canadian.

      1. Ah, good point.

  4. Another case where bipartisanship means both parties agree on being maximally authoritarian.

  5. all your chemical forumlations are beelong to uz

    /UR new arsenik bacteria overloard.s

  6. This just in: Reason contributor advocates the DEA pretend that simulated fake pot is the biggest threat to your child since real fake pot.

    1. How about simulated law enforcement?

      1. And Simulated Reefer Madness

  7. I’m surprised the Feds haven’t just come out and banned altered states of mind with exceptions for alcohol, prescription drugs (but only if you don’t enjoy it), and orgasms.

    1. …the SoCons would like to have a word with you about the orgasms…

    2. All of these substances violate the pure food and drug act. Those penalties are plenty harsh, so this doesn’t change anything that matters.

      Basically, drug enforcement is done locally, and this is their way of encouraging more localities to arrest people.

  8. Hey…wanna score some Simulated Fake Fake Simulated Fake Pot?

    1. Sure – you take Monopoly money, right?

      1. You know of any other kind?

  9. Please?

  10. I tried the K2, and was very surprised at how closely in mimics the Real Thing.

    I’m interested in this “seem to be pretty toxic.” At what dose?

    1. As an occasional user I’m wondering about this too. Is it just long-term use? And toxic in what way?

  11. Wow, I feel like I’m actually smoking virtual pot!

    1. It’s Amy Wong. Massive failure here.

      1. Are you talking about that new Futurama show that not many people have heard of? I’m aware of that it exists, but haven’t seen it, is it any good?

      2. Doesn’t Louise count?

  12. I am so sick of the DEA. They are annoyingly ignorant and refuse to make any effort to be reasonable. They know that their incomes depend on prohibition staying in place, so they just keep on pushing their lies. Even the NIDA is starting to wise up, though, not nearly as much as they should. Their income is not dependent on prohibition, so they actually follow science instead of making up BS.

    Now that I’ve ranted, I’d just like to say I’m sick of reading about K2. No on should ever have to use it in the first place. And the fact that the DEA suddenly decided to ban it just goes to show how ignorant they are.

    I’d love to move to Canada. Pardon the cliche, but I live in Arizona. Give me a break.

  13. I would say that people experimenting with unknown chemicals to reproduce the effects of one we know to be mostly safe is another result of this idiotic ‘war’ on drugs but I’ve almost given up.

    The stupidity in this country is just mind boggling.

    1. Maybe so, but it sure makes *me* feel better.

  14. My brother sold oregano to unsuspecting dumb-asses in high school. Would this still be legal?

    1. Fraud? Yes, that’s illegal.

  15. First thing to do is to STOP calling it” fake marijuana,synthetic Cannabis,mock pot, whatever.Figure it out,as soon as some kid see’s or hears the word marijuana their interested, and it’s not the shops that sell this crap doing it , it is the news media AND the DEA who are doing it. I blame our federal government for this entire mess, if Cannabis were decriminalized there would be no market for this crap.

  16. Look it up folks,Huffmans research was funded by NIDA,,,one more service provided by YOUR tax dollars.

    1. He created them because the feds would not allow real cannabis to be used in funded research.
      They brought this on themselves for a very very stupid reason.

  17. Of course there should be age restrictions on k2 incense, as with tobacco and alcohol, but these bans are just another knee-jerk reaction by our Government to control what we can and cannot do. They were passing emergency bans and proclaiming danger before they even knew anything at all about it. These guys, http://www.buyk2incense.com claim to have k2 incense products that aren’t restricted in any state by any current ban. So as you see, not only are these petty bans exhausting resources we don’t have, they are pretty much useless! It’s just going to continue to morph and the authorities are going to continue wasting time and money. People will still buy k2 incense. And so on and so on. Same old cycle.

  18. ngredient, but are not covered by the Controlled Substances Act. Although the act includes an “analog” provision aimed at such end runs, it arguably applies only to th

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