promoting the unwanted, redheaded stepchild that is individual liberty

Midwest lawmakers vs. ‘the munchies’

In health, local, marijuana on February 25, 2010 at 11:59 am

Just in case residents were having too much legal fun, legislators in the states of Missouri and Kansas are pushing to ban the synthetic marijuana substitute, K2.

Produced in Korea and China, the K2 is created from a blend of spices and herbs and sprayed with a synthetic compound chemically similar to THC — thus creating a “high” similar to the effects of marijuana. While it has been banned in much of Europe, it can legally be purchased in the United States, including at many of the smoke shops in Joplin.

While I haven’t experienced the synthetic high myself, I’ve witnessed its effects on friends, coworkers and customers smoking the drug. Basically, the high generated by K2 is almost the same as the high generated by smoking marijuana; only shorter. 

However, users should be wary of the synthetic weed. The chemicals used to create the THC-like effect were created by organic chemistry professor at Clemson University, Dr. John Huffman. Huffman created the chemical while researching the effects of cannabinoids on the brain.

Lawmakers in Missouri and Kansas are claiming to be concerned about the possible health risks of K2. But rather than calling for further research or regulation, legislators are swiftly moving to ban the substance.

It’s an example of the all-too common knee jerk reaction politicians have to substances they don’t understand or can‘t control. While morphine, Ritalin and a plethora of prescription drugs pose a much greater threat to individuals, it’s the marijuana-mimicking, munchies inducing chemical-herb blend that is becoming the target of states.

  1. The history of marijuana criminalization has been well and thoroughly written. For those who haven’t delved into its sinister origins: marijuana criminalization derived its impetus from an association of Mary Jane with lower economic and social classes. They could afford herb, but they couldn’t afford the cocaine that the nice, respectable middle-class folks used with great discretion. Yes, great discretion – they weren’t criminals, you know – just good folks who needed a little relief from hours and days of being productive citizens. Or, folks whose ‘little relief’ was to make the baby stop crying for a while. Absolutely, incontrovertably a minor issue compared to having weed-crazed savages raping our women. And, as with this example, our society is still engaged by a legacy of distorted perspectives on drug law.

  2. I got an interesting update from our kids. The oldest daughter and her husband are social workers. He has already had 2 clients experience psychotic episodes while using K2. He knows well that the research is very limited at this time. They are concerned that the ‘minor’ constituents may be even more harmful than the synthetic cannabinoid, if only to psychologically-impaired people.

    This illustrates a difficulty of governance. It is a challenge to address potential problems in an way that, appropriately, does not detract from legal entitlements while being as expeditious as may be warranted.

    For my son-in-law’s clients, they can be ordered to avoid anything (legal or not) which impairs, or which is even suspected of impairing, them. Other elements of government cannot, and should not, respond so promptly.

  3. If the real thing was legal and regulated, we wouldn’t be having this issue.

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