Topeka A group has called for more research into the effects of a product that is sold as incense but one that some say produces a marijuana-like high when smoked.
Patrick Wilbur, executive director of the Drug Policy Forum of Kansas, wrote in a letter to the House Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee that legislators should conduct a six- to eight-month study on K2 before considering legislation that would make it illegal.
“Criminalizing the substances in question does not come without a price,” Wilbur said. “It is critical the committee performs their due diligence before this decision is made.”
The committee will hold a hearing today(tuesday) on House Bill 2411, which would add two chemicals in K2 to the list of drugs that are illegal in Kansas. A similar bill already has been approved by a Senate committee.
K2 is popping up in stores across the state, including Lawrence’s Sacred Journey, 1103 Mass., which has reported increased demand for the herbal mixture since legislators announced they would try to ban the substance.
Law enforcement officials have said that K2 produces a high, much like marijuana and could have dangerous side effects.
Wilbur said a survey of K2 users in Kansas and review of scientific findings on the chemicals should be done before the Legislature tries to make the product illegal. If, after the study is done, lawmakers still want to prohibit K2, they could work on the issue during next year’s legislative session, he said.
Wilbur said the mission of the Drug Policy Forum of Kansas is to promote alternatives to the drug war.