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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

DEA Moves to Ban Synthetic Marijuana; Real Weed Is Still Illegal

Posted By on Wed, Apr 17, 2013 at 4:04 PM

click to enlarge Teens can still get it in some places - HEALTH.COM
  • Teens can still get it in some places

Real marijuana appears to have significant health benefits. Fake marijuana does not -- and in fact, the chemically sprayed herbs labeled as "K2" and "Spice" could possibly kill you.

For a long time, possibly healing real cannabis was illegal and the dangerous and worthless fake marijuana was perfectly legal. This deliciously absurd but dangerous situation was at last rectified when the Drug Enforcement Administration added three more "synthetic cannabinoids" to its list of banned substances.

Anyone wishing a final hurrah -- or a final brush with death -- should do so before May 13.

We remember well the era of "legal buds," when smoke shops sold to teens desperate for some sort of fix green nuggets of ... something. They looked an awful lot like marijuana when in fact they weren't marijuana, which has been called one of the Earth's most benign substances. The legal buds? Not so much. If you were lucky, all you got was a headache; if you were unlucky, you went to the emergency room -- and if you were a truly unfortunate soul, you died with these chemicals in your body. But at least the kids didn't get stoned, right?

Those deaths sprung lawmakers into action. Most of these absurd "legal buds" were made illegal last summer, when President Barack Obama signed bans on synthetic drugs into law.

The problem is, there are more chemicals out there that make you feel funny -- and cause kidney damage, as synthetic weed can do -- than there are laws. So last week, the DEA took action and added chemicals "referred to as UR-144, XLR11 and AKB48" to its list of banned cannabinoids, Courthouse News reported.

That list includes tetrahydracannbinol, or THC, a synthetic version of which is sold as an FDA-approved drug called Marinol. It also includes cannabidiol, or CBD, which in lab tests has shrunk tumors. Both of which can be found in the cannabis plant, which is still illegal.

Got it?

The DEA's order could go into effect by May 13.

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About The Author

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts has spent most of his adult life working in San Francisco news media, which is to say he's still a teenager in Middle American years. He has covered marijuana, drug policy, and politics for SF Weekly since 2009.


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