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Dangerous new drug circulating undetected across nation

By Yarid Haile, Heath High School journalism student. A new drug has been circulating throughout the nation literally undetected.

It’s a synthetic substitute to marijuana and it’s been eluding officials for years but has only recently garnered attention from the states.

K-2, also known as “Spice” and “Mr. Smiley” is a mixture of dried herbs similar to pot-pourri which is sprayed with a chemical compound that, when smoked,- produces effects similar to marijuana.

Unlike marijuana, however, K-2 is not meant for human consumption and can be easily abused in higher doses.

K2’s key ingredients were invented in a laboratory at Clemson University by Dr. John Huffman during medical research of cannaboid effects in the human brain.

Soon after users obtained the formula and began refining it for commercial use and selling it as incense.

Medical professionals have found no medical benefits for the regular use of K-2, however, some side-effects include increased heart rate, loss of consciousness, paranoia, hallucinations and, in higher doses, psychotic episodes.

“It’s like playing Russian roulette. You don’t know what it’s going to do to you,” said Dr. Huffman.

Despite this, the number of people purchasing K-2 is increasing. K-2’s major commercial success and potency as a recreational drug is partly due to how hard it is to regulate and how available it is to the public.

K-2 is produced overseas but distributed in America making it difficult to track. It can be purchased from suppliers, online and – until just recently – from gas stations.

It is also very affordable: three ounces of K-2 is worth about $40, as opposed to a single ounce of marijuana for the same price.

Once consumed, K-2 is almost impossible to detect, as well.

These characteristics make K-2 a very formidable drug for officials to penalize, let alone even recognize in the community.

K-2 is as elusive as it is because of how varied its ingredients are and because no one is even quite sure of what it’s made of.

The only identifiable ingredient in K-2 is the psychoactive substance that is sprayed to make it a drug.

There are thousands of variations of K-2 made up of completely different ingredients that make it completely unrecognizable from the original drug.

“When we talk about Spice we’re not just talking about JWH compounds but we’re talking about a lot of other things,” explained Jahan Marcu, one of the few cannaboid researchers in America studying the composition of K-2.

But despite all this, K-2 research is minimal and little is actually known about the drug.

K2 is supposed to relax you but different reactions are being observed in regular users.

“They’re jacked up. They’re agitated and anxious, sometimes delirious,” says toxicologist Anthony Scalzo. “And they’re completely surprised by what has happened to them, because they were just expecting to get mellow.”

States all over the nation that haven’t already begun fighting the drug are weighing bans and are enforcing fines up to $2,000 for possession of K-2. The one thing that is known in the face of this drug is that awareness is up and states are taking notice.

The Rockwall City Council will soon consider banning the sale of K-2 locally as it has already been banned in Mansfield and Frisco.

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2 Responses for “Dangerous new drug circulating undetected across nation”

  1. JohnWray says:

    This stuff is dangerous! I know when my adult son (that lives in another state) is using it as initially he is eupohoric/outgoing quickly moving to mild to severe paranoia followed by a “crash” in which he is very depressed and angry. During one of his most recent “aftermaths” of using he cut his arm. He is in treatment and will eventually live with me. This stuff is poison, and though I hate cannibis, this stuff makes marijuana look like oregano. LEGISLATE IT OUT OF EXISTENCE!! Not that it will do any good, put at least kids can’t walk into their local convenience store and buy it.

  2. anonymous says:

    The City of Fate already banned it as well.

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