We're only just hearing about this "K2" drug today, and already it's about to be made illegal! The synthetic herb is legally sold in New York as incense; when smoked K2 creates a high similar to marijuana, but without the calming effect. Symptoms can include anxiety, panic, paranoia, rapid heart rate and shortness of breath. Party! But Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice wants Albany to outlaw it.
Rice is proposing a statewide ban on the synthesized cannabinoids which are added to the K2 herbal mixture, which is marketed under several different names, or "blends," such as Summit, Citron, Blonde, Pink, Spice and Pineapple Express. According to the DA, ingredients include: canavalia rosea, clematis vitalba, nelumbo nucifera, pedicularis grand folia, heimia salicifolia, leonurus sibiricus, ledum palustre, blue lotus, baybean and a number of other herbs. Because the chemical compounds that give K2 smokers a high are slightly different from THC, they are not covered by existing drug laws.
A group of Long Island lawmakers have already proposed criminalizing K2, but their bill would makes the offense only a business violation, imposing a $500 fine on any business caught selling the herb. Rice says that doesn't go far enough, and she wants to add the synthetic marijuana compounds to the list of Controlled Substances, which would also make it a penalty to use K2 or possess it. "Anyone who buys and inhales these unregulated substances is putting themselves at serious risk," Rice tells Newsday.