K2, which is sometimes also called Spice or Mojo, is a synthetic marijuana product sold at gas stations and head shops, sometimes labeled as incense. It doesn't show up on drug tests, and contains no THC. Instead, chemicals in the mix (which looks an awful lot like potpourri, as you can see in the photo to the right) act as analogs for actual pot, tricking neural receptors into reacting the same way, mimicking a real marijuana high.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon will sign a law at the
St. Charles County Sheriff's Department this afternoon, and again in West Plains later today.Missouri will be the fifth state to ban synthetic marijuana, following Kansas, Alabama and Kentucky. Last week, the Arkansas Health Board passed an emergency ban of K2.
Early rumors said that synthetic marijuana itself is not being banned -- the chemicals sprayed on the leaves to enact the faux-high are. And in St. Charles and other places, other blends of chemicals have emerged with the same effects. Loophole! A press release sent by the governor's office says that possession of 35 grams or less of K2 (specifically, not mentioning any chemical names) is now a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine, while possession of 35-plus grams will be a Class C felony, punishable by up to seven years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
If there is a loophole, however, it may not even be worth seeking out. K2 sold for a hefty chunk of change and, according to an RFT staff smoke-out test conducted in February, the fake pot doesn't stand up to the real thing.
So, to reuse our own pun, maybe this ban is a sign that we should all take a puff, puff, pass on synthetic marijuana. If you're really that desperate for a high, just seek out the real deal. Now that the law has spoken, they're both illegal anyway -- why go for the lesser of two evils?