Fake Reefer Madness: From Kansas To New Orleans, K2 Synthetic Marijuana Is a Hot Topic

Feb 18, 2010 at 10:46 am
K2 or 1932? - Image Via
K2 or 1932?
Our counterparts at The Pitch in Kansas City  have been high on K2 synthetic marijuana for months.

They started writing about the controversy in Kansas over the faux-dope back in November, when Republican lawmakers in that state began pushing to ban the substance. The first thing the alt-weekly writers did? Smoke some of the stuff, of course.

Four months later, K2 is on the verge of being outlawed in Kansas -- both the state's House and Senate have passed bills restricting the drugs psychoactive ingredients, which mimic the affect of marijuana on the brain -- and now lawmakers in Missouri are looking to follow suit. (The FDA also recently raided a Lawrence, Kansas, head shop that sells the stuff.)

In the wake of the fake weed hullabaloo, The Pitch just published an in-depth feature story covering all controversy and explaining better than anything we've read so far how the new marijuana works.

Here's The Pitch's Peter Rugg on Kansas' recent congressional hearings on K2:
Other than this outburst, most of the hearing is calm and respectful. The exception is Lance Kinzer, an Olathe Republican with a butch buzz cut, who runs a smug, adversarial line of questioning whenever a speaker questions the need for a ban.

This is most obvious when Hudson Luce shuffles from his chair to the microphone. His gray sweater has holes in it, his khakis are frayed, and his receding silver hair is swept back into a messy ponytail.

He's a U.S. patent attorney with a doctorate in physical organic chemistry.

"These cannabinoids and their receptors play an active role in controlling immune response and inflammation, as well as analgesia and the treatment of alcoholism," Luce testifies. "Cannabinoids have also recently been patented by a group at the Department of Health and Human Services for their neuroprotective and antioxidant capabilities. Other cannabinoids and analogs show great promise in treatment of neuroflammatory disorders, such as multiple sclerosis, Huntington's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, amyloid formation in Alzheimer's disease, and many others. Also, cannabinoids show promise as treatments for atherosclerosis and breast cancer. JWH-018, the active ingredient in K2, is itself the subject of two U.S. patents owned by Roche Biotechnology for its use as a neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory agent."

"Why do you think high school kids should smoke it and get high?" Kinzer asks. "I don't think anyone should smoke anything,"

Luce responds. "Smoking anything -- tobacco, K2 -- carries significant health risks."
Read the whole story by clicking here.

And for bonus K2 coverage, check out the Pitch's recent post on K2 use at New Orleans Mardi Gras. Apparently they call the stuff "Mojo" there, and Louisiana lawmakers are already pushing for a ban.