Spice is not synthetic marijuana, but it is risky, says Rep. Mike Kopp, sponsor of HB 134 ban

Categories: Marijuana, News

herbal incense blends containing jwh018 cropped.jpg
Big pics below.
This legislative session has already seen the arrival of proposals to tweak the state's medical marijuana regulations and establish THC driving limits. It's no surprise, then, that HB 134, sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Mike Kopp, has been described as a ban of synthetic marijuana. But while the measure refers to a substance known as Spice or K2 as "synthetic cannabinoids," Kopp feels the "synthetic marijuana" term is "a misnomer of the highest order."

Kopp, who oversaw testimony about HB 134 last week, regrets that some advocates see his attempt to prohibit Spice, as well as a hallucinogen called salvia, as a stealth attack on MMJ. "It's unfounded," he says. "I'm not going to call it 'paranoia,' because I understand where they're coming from. That's one of the reasons why I didn't want it to be in the [medical marijuana] statute. We go out of our way in the bill itself to indicate this has no bearing on our medical marijuana statutes" -- hence, a line in the summary that reads, "Synthetic cannabinoids shall not be considered medical marijuana under Colorado law."

herbal incense blends containing jwh018.jpg
Herbal incense blends containing JWH-018, one of the substances specifically cited in HB 134.
Spice "behaves substantially differently in a person's brain" than does marijuana, Kopp goes on, "and it absolutely should be seen as a controlled substance. There's a charade that has taken place, and frankly, it's a pretty dangerous one, where Spice is sold as incense. But it's sprayed with any of five different kinds of chemicals. The odd thing is, none of these chemicals add any odor whatsoever. The only thing they do is serve to produce a high that has landed kids in the hospital with violent hallucinations."

Legislators in at least eighteen states have reportedly prohibited Spice -- click to read about Kansas' efforts to ban the substance last year, courtesy of Pitch, our sister publication in Kansas City. Moreover, the Drug Enforcement Administration enacted a ban on March 1 -- but as Kopp notes, the DEA action expires in a year.

"It's a temporary rule to do much more extensive clinical research than has been done so far," he continues. "But that's not to say there's no evidence what this drug is capable of doing. In fact, one of the police officers who came in and testified is something like six-five, and he said, 'A big guy like me is having trouble with teenagers on this stuff. They think I'm attacking them, and I can hardly contain them.' And even the Clemson professor who invented it" -- John Huffman -- "says it wasn't meant for human consumption, and you'd have to be an idiot to take it. He says if you take it, you're playing Russian roulette.

mike kopp.jpg
Mike Kopp.
"Opponents want to suggest that because there aren't widespread clinical trials and papers published, we should ignore the problem. And I think that's irresponsible. We have enough evidence to understand what is happening to people who take this substance, and we know there are no medical benefits, it's prone to abuse, and it's been seized with other Schedule 1 narcotics. That's why the DEA's position is, 'We're not going to sit back and watch as this takes off and becomes a bigger problem in the U.S., like it's become in Europe. They're generally more lenient with their drug laws in Europe than we are here, but even they've acted pretty swiftly about this."

He's hoping Colorado's legislators do likewise, despite suggestion by opponents that the legislation is a prime example of Nanny State action typically derided by conservatives.

"Some people have tried to equate this to other types of government do-goodery that I find really objectionable, like limiting salt intake and fatty foods and soda in schools," he acknowledges. "But are we seriously suggesting that something so damaging, something with absolutely no medical benefits, and something that's causing fits of rage and kids to go to the hospital, is the same kind of thing? These are two totally different conversations."

No action was taken after last week's hearing, in part because a couple of committee members who Kopp describes as "committed votes on the bill" were gone that day. But when it returns to the judiciary committee, "I believe it'll pass," he goes on. "I'll probably work on an amendment regarding possession for minors -- I'm going to look at the penalties there. But I feel confident about it, because the testimony was very compelling."

Page down to read the bill.

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buy spice incense
buy spice incense

It's no surprise  that HB 134, sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Mike Kopp, has been described as a ban of synthetic marijuana.....

Afghan Incense
Afghan Incense

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whats my house worth
whats my house worth

Have you heard of herbal incense? It is becoming more and more popular, yet much mystery still surrounds it. You may have questions such as, what is it? Does it really work? Is it the same as herbal buds? You can can the answers to these and many more questions by doing a little research and visiting the right websites.

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whats my house worth

Why be worried? If it's just a variation on pot then it's not a big deal, right? Wrong! The

American Association of Poison Control Centers reports that it has received almost 2000 calls this

year about negative and frightening side effects from Spice and the Drug Enforcement

Administration Diversion Control Program lists Spice as a "chemical of concern". Thought to be up

to 5 times as potent as marijuana, side effects include agitation, rapid heart rate, confusion,

dizziness and nausea. Even scarier, some users have been admitted to emergency rooms with seizures

and hallucinations.

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whats my house worth

There are many different brands of incense that come in various aromas and strengths. Common aromas include strawberry, blueberry, mango, exotic blend and many more. These varying brands and blends can be found in your local head shop and online. Expect to pay retail prices at stores while better deals can be found online.

k2 incense
k2 incense

Thank you. I've always thought it was a bit misleading and dangerous to refer to it as fake weed when it can actually be many times more potent than marijuana.

youbetcha2
youbetcha2

An alarming number of adults have smoked K2 and other smoke shop blends. Grownups have started to catch on to the latest teen fad of indulging in the new herbal incense smoke called fake pot. Older customers purchase the largest share by far according to a local shop employee. One customer a school bus driver remarked that it’s not anyone’s business “what I do away from work and this stuff keeps it that way”. Another buyer a landscaper and a weekend aviation enthusiast “hadn’t smoked marijuana in years”; he now “buys twice a week”. He was pleased that he’d passed his latest flight physical including the urine test. though his biggest worry was his eye sight. A locomotive mechanic was a bit more reserved he simply said “they’ll probably ban it”. All face random drug screening and get stoned nearly every day. That seems to be the biggest appeal for individuals that must undergo employment or government mandated drug testing. All said that they would prefer regular marijuana over the fake kind. Until a new drug test is developed that will detect all of the various chemicals used to manufacture fake pot it is likely to remain popular with teens and grownups alike.

Guest
Guest

Don't worry kids, you can still get high huffing gasoline.

Will Breathes
Will Breathes

many times more potent?? what? First, it isn't even THC. Second, you must smoke some bullshit marijuana.

k2 is synthetic trash. friends don't let friends smoke plastic.

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