Spice bust in Loveland puts focus on dangers of "synthetic marijuana"

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Big photos below.
Last September, the Colorado Department of Health and Environment issued an alert suggesting that spice, inaccurately but popularly known as synthetic marijuana, could well be more dangerous to kids than the real thing. Yet despite the January 1 start of recreational pot sales in Colorado, spice continues to be available -- although no longer at the Down Low Glass Detox in Loveland, where three people were busted and more than 700 grams of the stuff was seized, including spice packaged under the product name Scooby Snax. Photos and details below.

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Down Low smoke shop, as seen in a photo from its Facebook page.
On April 10, according to the Northern Colorado Drug Task Force, officers served a search warrant at Down Low, located at 109 East 37th Street, unit A, in Loveland.

The focus of the warrant was what the task force refers to as "the illegal sale of synthetic cannabinoids commonly known as 'Spice.' Spice is a mixture of herbs that is sprayed with synthetic chemical compounds to produce a psychoactive product similar to marijuana."

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Inside Down Low, in another photo from the shop's Facebook page.
Plenty of folks may take issue with that description. Note that the CDPHE lists the effects of spice on a number of young patients as "disorientation, delirium, confusion, anxiety, lethargy, agitation, paranoia, hallucinations and seizures," only the mildest of which might apply to pot.

The product's packaging is frequently marked "not for human consumption" and identified as "potpourri," but that doesn't stop people (mostly teen and pre-teen males) from smoking it.

The task force seized 707 grams of spice said to be for sale at Down Low, including material packaged as Scooby Snax....

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...and Mr. Happy:

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The spice reportedly has a "street value" of $5,400.

Anthony Cortese, Bruce Lunder and Devin Pratt -- the shop's owner, manager and an employee, respectively -- have been arrested in the case. Cortese is suspected of unlawful possession of synthetic cannabinoids with intent to distribute and conspiracy to distribute, while Lunder and Pratt booked on the former charge only.

The legalization of recreational pot sales has likely cut back on the task force's work load. But members have clearly found a way to keep busy, and if they're going to shift their attention to spice, few users of genuine marijuana are apt to complain.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

More from our Marijuana archive circa September 2013: "Synthetic marijuana: Worse for kids than the real thing?"

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13 comments
A Lisha Kue
A Lisha Kue

Maybe they have a drug test..... Maybe there not 21 to go in dispensaries .......maybe there dealer was out ....Its cheap so maybe all they could afford at the time .....or it's the only hook up they could find at the time I know I bought the stuff out of desperation when the dispens was closed n no hook up was up

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

Synthetic Marijuana isn't. It's crap spray-painted with a mind-altering substance that only vaguely simulates THC. People should avoid that crap--especially in a state where they can get the real thing.

Oh, wait…brilliant idiots are still keeping adults under 21 from buying it, not to mention testing for THC and banning local sales of pot. It's just as much the fault of those idiots.

Amanda Davis
Amanda Davis

Because people who get UA'd still want to get high. People on probation, who get tested by their jobs and people in the military use this stuff because it doesn't show up on a drug test. I don't like the stuff... but that's why it's still being used.

Adam Aedro Drotar
Adam Aedro Drotar

Because people in Colorado are stupid enough to smoke fake weed when they could walk two blocks and find dank anywhere.

Garrett Pearson
Garrett Pearson

Because people get on probation and aren't allowed to smoke. So they smoke spice because it doesn't show up on most drug tests.

Chris Cater
Chris Cater

So 9 news can say people used it and killed peeps on weed duh?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... because the stoners of Colorado were stupid enough to EXCLUDE and CRIMINALIZE marijuana for EVERYONE under 21 years old !!



Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

Fascists never learn that their desire to run other people's lives has real consequences.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... same with the Military, Government Jobs, and any other drug-tested endeavor.



D0NKEYH0TAY
D0NKEYH0TAY

Kids should have free and easy access to Marijuana.

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