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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.

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