K2 and other "designer" drugs aren't "legal" marijuana.

by Ned Wicker
(Wisconsin)

The never-ending search for more ways to abuse substances has led us to the K2/ "designer-drug" craze in the United States, as this “incense” has been legally purchased in many areas, but used as a substitute for marijuana.

Often Outlawed

In some areas, the sale of it has been outlawed, prompting the manufacturer to take great strides in trying to convince the public that the product is intended only for adults and only to be burned as incense.

The sellers in the United States get their product from China and Korea, and in China there is no regulation on how this chemical is produced and there is no FDA oversight in this country.

There is no "Authorized K2"

Obviously feeling the impending pressure, they take time to point out that only they produce the “real herb products,” and that anyone else in the market trying to sell “K2” is an impostor. Their site reads, “often copied by unscrupulous individuals trying to peddle inferior and potentially dangerous K2 counterfeits, presenting them with words like: "Authentic," "Original," "Genuine," "Authorized K2."

The effort to educate the public on their being the only true K2, and believe me they go to great lengths to pound that point home, tells me that they know they are on to something big, especially as the debate over the legalization of marijuana continues.

The trouble is, K2 is not marijuana and worse yet, smoking this junk can be deadly. The manufacturers and distributors know all about the debate and naturally they want to position themselves as being the exclusive supplier of the K2, knowing that there is plenty of money to be made.

Don't be fooled!

The argument will be as follows: “It’s a legal product and we can’t help it if people smoke it instead of using it for its intended purpose.” Or they will say, “It’s not our fault if people get seriously ill, because we told them its incense.” Truth is they know what’s going on. They’re not stupid. Is there a moral and ethical responsibility for them to take a more proactive measure? The laws are changing all around the country, banning the substance.

Even if it’s incense and not a product to be smoked, if the manufacturers knows people are smoking it, is there nothing to suggest that a health warning be included? We get all this verbiage about buying only the real stuff, but nothing about the intended purpose of the incense.

People are always going to stretch the limits of any law or any warning. People will abuse anything. There is a measure of personal responsibility that has to be exercised, but in our culture it’s always somebody else’s fault, so going with the societal wind, the one who sells the stuff is at fault.

No matter what dance is done to get around the truth, no matter how many lawyers are there to protect commerce, no matter the potential profit orgy that might come of selling K2 to unsuspecting and mindless teenagers, it’s wrong. Merchants are selling this stuff at a rapid pace and it seems to fly off the shelves.

These drugs are SCARY!

This stuff is scary because we just don’t know if the long-term use of K2 causes permanent harm. We do know, however, that serious damage to the lungs, brain, heart, and other vital organs. The trouble is the drug does not show up on drug tests, so parents that suspect their child might be getting into this dangerous drug might be well advised to question that child on their drug use.

A kid will likely reason, “it’s perfectly legal.” It is in most places. Teens sometimes buckle under peer pressure, and the way they look at it, if it’s legal it’s ok. There is no regulation on incense, so anybody can buy it. It produces a high like marijuana, but stronger. It goes into the blood stream, so it finds its way to body organs. Not knowing exactly what can happen, the user is playing Russian roulette with his brain.

A ban on this product is a positive step. Let the Chinese and Koreans sell it to their own kids. Incense has been around for thousands of years. It’s pleasant, fragrant and there’s nothing wrong with it. But this stuff is a different story. We get it. We know what it is. We know how it’s used. There is nothing redeeming here.

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