Synthetic marijuana use & abuse a concern in Maine – WLBZ

February 18th, 2013 by admin Leave a reply »



PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Enter most any smoke shop or head shop in Maine and you are likely to find it.  And it is carried by many gas stations, too.  It, is a designer drug made to mimic the effects of marijuana, sold as potpourri in colorful packaging that is stamped with a warning that it is not for human consumption, but users and kids all know that if you smoke it, it will get you high, sometimes with very serious side effects.

“Everyone knows what it is being used for,” admits Maine’s top drug cop, Maine Drug Enforcement Agency Director, Roy McKinney.  “We are hearing more and more about it, and really it is being marketed and pushed as a legal high.”

In July of 2012, the US Government passed a law outlawing synthetic cannabinoids, better known on the street as Spice, K2, fake weed or potpourri, but before the ink was dry on the legislation, manufacturers altered the chemical composition ever so slightly to keep the product on the shelves.

Currently, there is little McKinney or other law enforcement officers can do to keep these drugs out of stores and off the streets because they are legal.

“This is a real challenge,” explained McKinney.  “It is a real challenge for public safety, law enforcement.  It is a

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