Nationwide ban on ‘fake pot’ kicks in Friday

December 22nd, 2010 by admin Leave a reply »

A synthetic form of marijuana known as K2 is displayed at a local Bangor business. The dried herbs sprayed with chemicals in a three gram package sells for $25.

BANGOR, Maine — Locally sold herbal products that reportedly provide a marijuana-like high have been banned by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration effective at the end of this week. According to the Federal Register, the ban is “necessary to avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety.”

Known as Spice, K2, “fake pot,” synthetic marijuana and by a host of other names, the products typically are marketed as incense or potpourri and sell for $30 to $40 a gram, or about twice the street value of marijuana, according to Bangor police Lt. Tom Reagan. Reagan is among numerous law enforcement and medical professionals in Maine and the United States who have expressed concern about the products — which have a number of potentially serious side effects — and applaud the ban.

The products are made from plant material spiked with synthetic cannabinoids, the active ingredient in marijuana. Spice and several variations of the product have been widely available at tobacco and smoke shops, head shops and convenience stores, including some in Bangor.

Usually smoked or mixed with food, the products have been especially popular

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