good mildly uncomfortable while it lasted, but synthetic marijuana knock-off "K2" is facing permanent banishment. Using its "emergency powers" yesterday, the FDA banned the sale of five chemicals which are used to make K2, Spice, and other such herbal products. First bath salts, then Jane Russell, and now K2? What will 2011 take away from us next?
The FDA argued that despite the fact that K2 and such products are legal in most states, there was "an imminent threat to public health" from the herbs—there have been increased reports of seizures, hallucinations and dependency linked to the fake pot. Early reports on the drug said that it causes all the negative effects of pot, including anxiety, panic, paranoia, rapid heart rate and shortness of breath, without any of the fun, calming, goofy stuff.
"Young people are being harmed when they smoke these dangerous 'fake pot' products and wrongly equate the products' 'legal' retail availability with being 'safe,'" said DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart. The FDA will now have a year to study the effects of the products, and determine if the ban should be permanent. But already, retailers are adapting to the ban by creating new concoctions of the synthetic marijuana: Rockin Cards and Gifts Owner Randy Heine in Florida has developed his own "House Blend," which excludes the five banned chemicals. Mere hours after the ban was announced, he's stacked his shelves with his product: "They purchase it as an incense. When they leave they have the right to do with it as they want."