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. A Concerned American Citizen says:

      I don’t even know what to say. The stupidity of prohibition seems to spring eternal.

    2. old vet says:

      more waste of tax money

    3. fishcreekbob says:

      Shhh Don’t tell them about kitchen spices.

    4. Djinn says:

      Ohh well, they could have possibly done more harm to the body than the real “herb” that we need legalized, who knows what herbs they used in the process, he’ll there could have been hemlock, or nightshade just cause the people need something to be the medium for the chemical compounds.

      When are they gonna quit beating around the bush, and just legalize cannabis-sativa/indica period? Don’t they realize it’s only a matter of time till K3 or some other bullshit that contain (WARNING: Insert of random compound names) JWH-015, JWH-069, or FKDEA-666 (lol). Either way people are gonna get their weed of choice, no government has a true knowledgeable right to another sentient beings way of life, or choices.

    5. Andrew says:

      wow….these products would never have been on the market if weed was legal. Ive tried a few of those “spice” products. They will give you a high similar to marijuana, it can be nice but its not the same. It can take you by suprise too. A few times it caused my heart rate to increase and my heart to beat harder. (not in a good way) It was quite scary. Needless to say its been a while sinse ive ingested that product. its not safe. and now it’ll get you thrown in jail.

      We should take this as yet another sign. The prohobition of all drugs isnt going like it was planned. There are those drugs that should be illegal and remain that way. But marijuana has been tested by time and proved itself to be a harmless and productive substance in many ways to society if utilised properly. We the people should have the right to make our own choice about whether or not marijuana should be a part of our own private lives.

    6. greenthumb says:

      they still sell these products regardless of this ban, they just changed the chemical. i have been to a headshop many times in the last few weeks and they still have the spices. even before the so called “ban” they were making a killing with how much they sold, and how much they could sell it for, which shows what marijuana would do if it were to be sold in the same manner. with the spices legal, it showed that there was no real difference in society when a marijuana like substance was legal. there was no one running a muck around town on this substance, getting in car wrecks etc. it shows that making weed legal really isn’t going to change our society in a harmful way, its just not a big deal. im not sure what they think they are protecting us from but it is obviously causing more harm than good (i.e. the production of these herbal products).

    7. Atlanta Toker says:

      All you have to do is kill the DEA budget in Congress.
      Then, they will fade away as they should have 30 years ago.
      They are a useless blood sucking leech on the American taxpayer who does absolutley nothing except wage WAR on Amercian citizens. Lets end them foreve by removing their money.Any congressman that votes to keep them in the budget, lets get rid of them.

    8. Anonymous says:

      oh no! what shall we do!!?? i dunno, maybe go back to smoking weeeeeeeeeeed

    9. THC_ALLIANCE says:

      Who gives them the authority to simply place ban on substances without a national vote of some kind?

      Does it not strike anyone as very alarming that some organization of like minded people can change policies on consumable substances and enforce their opinion upon the rest of us, all without even asking the public how we feel about it?

      Isn’t that considered a dictatorship?

      What’s going on here??????

      Regardless of a substances toxicity to the Human body, before a national BAN is put on the substance, shouldn’t there be a vote as to whether or not we feel valuable resources should be spent on prohibiting such substances and also, how those resources are spent?


    10. Djinn says:

      @old vet It’s not like the assholes already waste it by leaving their cars on as they sit there, and when they walk in for 30 minutes into a store.