The news has been all abuzz for the last several months about various forms of designer drugs meant to mimic marijuana. Called Spice, K2, and a million other mildly clever names, these substances usually consist of a synthetic cannabinoid sprayed over plant matter. The resulting euphoria is supposed to be similar to the effects of marijuana. Unfortunately, it is also untested and has been reported to have all sorts of nasty side effects. Enter the DEA, who recently asked the FDA to temporarily ban several of these chemicals, pending a more permanent solution.
Needless to say, most people probably wouldn’t use these chemicals if they could legally use marijuana. Many users of the synthetics report drug tests for probation or work to be their main reason for using it. The Navy had to start testing for it regularly, so prevalent was its use among the oft-drug-tested sailors. Once again, we have prohibition encouraging people to use drugs more dangerous than marijuana.
The inventor of these substances, John W. Huffman of Clemson University, strongly warns against using them and thinks they should be banned. What does he think should be legal?
In an interview this week with the L.A. Times, Huffman said marijuana should be taxed and regulated, and had this to say:
“You can’t overdose on marijuana, but you might on these compounds,” he said. “These things are dangerous, and marijuana isn’t, really.”
I wonder if the DEA will listen. Probably just the “dangerous” part.