The DEA is taking synthetic pot seriously. In a statement released last week, the US Drug Enforcement Administration announced it will use its “emergency scheduling authority to temporarily control five chemicals … used to make ‘fake pot’ products.”
This means that in one month, the synthetic cannabinoids used in popular pot substitutes K2 and Spice will be considered Schedule I narcotics for the span of one year (the most restrictive category). During that year, the DEA will supposedly “further study whether these chemicals and products should be permanently controlled.”
It is difficult to imagine that these chemicals will find their way off of the schedule so if you’ve been enjoying K2 or Spice as a readily available, legal marijuana alternative you should probably prepare to say goodbye.
According to Drug Policy Alliance’s Tony Newman, “The DEA says that prohibiting synthetic marijuana will ‘control’ it … Yet we know from history that prohibition is the complete opposite of drug control.” Very true. Yet much of the allure of K2 and Spice came from the fact that just about anyone could obtain it with ease and, assuming you didn’t live in one of the states that already banned the substance, possess it legally. So while the DEA has now created a new black market drug, it remains to be seen if there will be any market for it now that it’s out of gas stations and headshops.