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DEA Enacts Federal Ban On ‘Marijuana-Like’ Herbal Products Sold Over The Counter

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director March 1, 2011

    The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) today, as anticipated, exercised its ‘emergency scheduling authority’ to criminally prohibit the possession and sale of chemical agents contained in so-called ‘fake’ herbal marijuana products, commonly sold over the counter under the brand names ‘K2’ and ‘Spice.’ The agency had initially announced its intent to outlaw the chemicals last November.

    The specific compounds prohibited under the new DEA ban are: JWH-018, JWH-073, JWH-200, CP-47,497, and cannabicyclohexanol. Each of these compounds is now placed in the same category as heroin under federal law.

    “Except as authorized by law, this action makes possessing and selling these chemicals or the products that contain them illegal in the United States,” the DEA stated in a press release. “This emergency action was necessary to prevent an imminent threat to public health and safety.”

    The agency says that the federal ban will remain in effect for at least one year while the DEA and the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) “further study whether these chemicals should be permanently controlled.”

    The chemicals in question are synthetic cannabinoid agonists. Once ingested, they interact with endogenous cannabinoid receptors to elicit certain physical and euphoric effects associated with the ingestion of marijuana. They are added to inert herbs to temporarily induce euphoria in the user.

    Though NORML takes no official position regarding the use or regulation of these synthetic products, NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano issued the following statement:

    “The popularity of these products is a predictable outgrowth of criminal marijuana prohibition. As prohibition is apt to do, it has driven the production of a commodity into the hands of unregulated, unknown dealers, driven up the potency of the commodity, and in doing so created a scenario where the consumer is faced with a potentially greater health risks than they would be had they simply had the legal choice to use the product they actually desired, in this case cannabis.

    “Since most manufacturers of these products reside overseas and are not subject to federal laws and regulations, it is unlikely that the DEA’s action – as well as the similar bans in other states – will in any way halt the dissemination, use, or misuse of these products by the public. Most likely, the clamp down will likely only make the situation more dangerous – from both a legal standpoint and from a health standpoint – to the consumer.

    127 Responses to “DEA Enacts Federal Ban On ‘Marijuana-Like’ Herbal Products Sold Over The Counter”

    1. free and pardon all drug offenders and other non violent offenders that only committed a crime to get money for drugs. Roll all the drug laws back to 1965 and legalize marijuana. with the pre 1965 drug laws if you want or need narcotics your doctor can simply write you a prescription.

    2. lets all go to the streets and smoke some oregano and see what law congress passes.

    3. Alexandra says:

      I read everyone’s remarks on the issue of banning the herb-like marijauna. I grew up in the 70s and 80s and had children in the 90s. They are teenagers now. The herbal products are running rampant in the high schools. My 15 year old son bought some over the internet. He was honest with me after he got it and smoked some. (he sees a doctor and therapist for anxiety and depression). He told me he would never smoke pot because it is illegal. This stuff makes him calmer than all the meds the doctor ever gave him. Now I discover this is now illegal. I do not know what to do. Because I am a mother I needed to tell him I can not let him do any of it. He thought it was ok because it was legal. I am such a hypocrite. I worry, too, that the government has too much power over us, but I’m also a mom.

    4. Shadow says:

      I look for a time where you get put away for having an energy drink … they are proving to be dangerous to people’s health over the long haul … just waiting for the intrusive DEA to ban that next. WE WANT LIBERTY!!!!!

    5. michael gabriel says:

      There are thousands of different chemical compounds The concret this uforic. I almost went psychotic buy ingesting incense. My psychosis has almost passed. I’m probly gonna be haunted by this for the rest of my life. On meds for the rest of my life. I think there needs to be a ban on anything that mimics a controlled substance. This is turning out to be just like the lsd days. When they were altering chemical slightly to make it legal again.

    6. michael gabriel says:

      WIN 55 IS ONE THAT NEEDS TO BE BANNED Which created by psychosis. Although I was Ingesting other Synthetic cannabanoids. I just don’t want anyone to turn out like I did. No short term memory. Paranoia. Most colors agitate me Just the sight of them. Like when I see you are yellow and red sign. Hey give me a migraine

    7. Josie says:

      Lawmakers are in the process of closing any loopholes that currently exist with laws pertaining to some herbal incense products, but there efforts will prove to be fruitless in the end. The prohibition of marijuana has created this demand for legal marijuana alternatives. A rather prosperous niche that will be tapped into for as long as marijuana continues to be illegal. There are many places one may still buy k2 incense and according to the vendors, like http://www.buyherbalincense.com the k2 herb products they sell are legal everywhere.

    8. If the DEA and the government is so worried about our health could we please start with the food we eat everyday? They let the food industry put whatever they want into it, hell that big ground turkey contamination, they knew and shipped it anyway and people DIED!!! Sounds like concern to me………right.

    9. satantics says:

      everybody quit complaining and go out and do something instead of the easy leagalize cannabis quote. hell leagalizing cannabis wont change a thing dea will hassel something else that will piss people off. america come on nothing is free here this goverment has spit on the consitution and you. america the land no freedom BAN CRIMNAL GOVERMENTS

    10. gelena says:

      marijuana has to be safer, think government would realize this, they ban and people still get high, hint….hint……

    11. maryjane man says:

      That’s o.k.- There is a revolution coming man. The tip of the iceberg is already here. Just take a look around………..I love it

    12. J B says:

      The goverment dosen’t give a rats ass about the people
      It’s only concern is about the money it might be loosing

    13. Jesus says:

      Wow this is bullshit How will we deal with the end of world now….

    14. […] a lot of issue regarding "fake marijuana" which is now under federal review for outlawing http://blog.norml.org/2011/03/01/dea…r-the-counter/ in my humble opinion I believe that after at least 5000-8000 or more years of use as a […]

    15. Justin says:

      as the owner of a herbal potpourri company. I feel the product is not bad. I sell Bc Blendz herbal potpourri and everyone loves it. personal user for 3 years I have found no side effects under normal use. its effects are similar to marijuana which is why I use. check us out at http://www.newagetoledo.webs.com or like our Facebook page New Age Distribution in Toledo,OH. this product and any like it should be kept legal. we use AM-2201 in all of our products.

    16. JoeShmoe says:

      My frustration with the spice situation is this: i got busted for growing weed, now instead of looking for (stupid) ways to get high i went for this (slightly less stupid) potpourri. My state has a ban on this “spice” but i can order certain kinds but don’t know if it’s specifically illegal. I’m on probation for 4 more years. I would just ride it sober but I have serious depression and gettin high seems to cure it. Can’t find the motivation to fufill my probation requirments sober but high i’m demonized. Should i just see a shrink and start poppin pills? I HATE PILLS. Oh and i can’t afford that route. Life’s a dick, when it gets hard F*#% it.

    17. drew says:

      legalize it. didnt think id have to say that again…

    18. fredom my ass my own mother didnt give me this many rules they know its bullshit aka the goverment but again might be money they might not make fuck the people who run this so called FREE COUNTRY NOTHINGS FREE unlees they can TAX FREE ITEMS then its ok

    19. Yourallidiots says:

      I work at a poison center and we see people having kidney failure, seizures, heart problems and many other bad effects from these and other designer drugs. Why don’t you all just smoke regular pot. It doesn’t cause these things. I say if you want to do these harmful drugs and you die it is natural selection. We are seeing these being used by kids in highschools and Junior highs. You people are stupid if you think it is ok to let your kids use these too. Again if they die it just leaves better people in the gene pool. It is not the government that is the criminal here it is all of you who live to get high. you are destroying our Country.

    20. The 1970 Controlled Substance Act is a criminal violation of our God-given, CONSTITUTIONALLY protected personal LIBERTY.
      DRUGS ARE ILLEGAL FOR CHILDREN.

      Dear US military,
      RESPONSIBLE FREEDOM . . .
      #1 PRIORITY = RIGHT TO PRIVILEDGE.
      W H-O/R A W

    21. whataload says:

      Remember when liquior was outlawed? It should still be. How many people over do and then go out drive and kill inocent people. Why? Because they want some relief they can afford from the pain and cannot afford pain medications. Marajuana grows in the ground. That means it is made by God and isn’t he suppose to know whats good for us? He gave us this to use as a medicine for many illnesses. Lets make use of it. Not to mention that it could help boost our economy which is sucking right now. Legalizing marajuana is a win win situation. people get what they need and our economy gets help too.

    22. wasim says:

      ya ,all bunch of criminals sitting on seat ,all to just make muslim life miserable as past ,even the judges are drunkard alcoholics ,police ,officers,force ,military doctors nurses ,presidents, mayors teachers etc a to z all are alcoholic, just 1 day don’t give them alcohol watch they kill each others,because it

    23. wasim says:

      hi ,only making legals medicated drug smoke can save many lives and just check the crime rate how its go down saving life is better than destroying it,

    24. people should have a right to this manny medicinall properties can help depression and make iou fell better and less side effects than over the counter meds

    25. people should have a right to this manny medicinall properties can help depression and make iou fell better and less side effects than over the counter meds

    26. Anonymous says:

      dont want bath salts you idiots

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