Archive for Friday, September 17, 2010

Substance similar to K2 proving popular in area states; law officers say they’re not seeing it in Lawrence

Local store owners, law enforcement haven’t seen the substitutes yet

September 17, 2010

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“K2” is back. Well, kind of.

The smokable synthetic substance that produces a marijuana-like high was outlawed in Kansas and a dozen other states this year. But crafty chemists have been able to alter the chemical components enough to create legal substitutes, which go by such names as “Heaven Scent,” “K3” or “Syn.”

Micah Riggs, who owns the store Coffee Wonk in Kansas City, Mo., said the K2 substitutes became a hot commodity — maybe even more so than the original K2 — after Missouri banned the chemicals in K2 earlier this year. Riggs even says the substitutes produce a smoother and stronger high.

But the newer substances don’t appear to be available in Lawrence.

Employees at the local store Sacred Journey — which was at the center of the K2 debate in Kansas — said they don’t sell any of the newer versions of K2.

K2 was a hot item at Sacred Journey — with eager customers forming lines around the block — before the substance was banned in March. The store was also raided by federal agents in the weeks before K2 was made illegal. The owner of Bouncing Bears Botanicals in Oskaloosa, which supplied Sacred Journey with K2, was charged in Jefferson County Court with various charges related to the manufacture of illegal substances following a raid of his warehouse. Those charges, however, have since been dropped.

‘Not on the radar’

Despite the wide availability of the new substance across the state line, it hasn’t been seen by local law enforcement yet.

“They have not seen it on the street and it’s not on the radar,” said Sgt. Steve Lewis of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.

Douglas County Sheriff Ken McGovern was a strong proponent of banning K2, and he spoke at several of the legislative hearings.

Before 2009, K2 — which went by various brand names— was virtually unheard of. Kansas was the first state to ban the compound — JWH-018 — found in K2, and a dozen other states followed suit. The bill, signed by Gov. Mark Parkinson in March, added the compound to the Kansas Uniform Controlled Substance Act.

But with ease, manufacturers are creating legal versions of K2.

The modified K2 versions are popping up near the campus of the University of Missouri, and Columbia police say there isn’t much they can do about it. The presence of substances made with the new compound even makes it more difficult to enforce the laws against the banned versions.

For starters, it’s “nearly impossible” to identify K2 without its label or advanced chemical testing, said Jill Weineke, spokeswoman for the Columbia police.

That makes it especially difficult to weed out the illegal versions from the newer, legal ones.

Enforcing the new laws isn’t high on their priority list, and Columbia Police Chief Ken Burton says there doesn’t appear to be a fix to the problem as long as the chemistry stays a few steps ahead of the law.

“When they’re constantly changing the chemical makeup, we’ll be constantly chasing our tails,” he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this story

Comments

Ron Holzwarth 4 years, 7 months ago

Maybe ALL psychotropic smokable substances such as tobacco should be banned!

deec 4 years, 7 months ago

Or all made legal. We could use the tax money.

Joe Hyde 4 years, 7 months ago

Jack Daniels is contraindicated for the treatment of hypochondria, as sipping even a small glass of it interferes with the patient's suffering.

Ron Holzwarth 4 years, 7 months ago

If you get a small cut, soaking it in a bit of whiskey seems to prevent infections so you will heal faster. Alcohol does kill germs as well as brain cells!

I used to keep a small flask of whiskey in the freezer for that very purpose. But then I got into the habit of drinking all the medicine.

Mari Aubuchon 4 years, 7 months ago

I find all these synthetic "marijuana" substances to be more than a little scary. I am also more than a little frightened by the bloody drug cartels in Mexico who make money off illegal marijuana smuggling.

Just legalize the actual (native) plant already! Set up some legal organic farms and allow people to start retail businesses much as we already have with liquor and tobacco. Hey, at least it would create some greatly needed jobs and decrease the money that supports violent criminals.

Steve Jacob 4 years, 7 months ago

"Despite the wide availability of the new substance across the state line, it hasn’t been seen by local law enforcement yet."...

....Until this article hit the paper and everyone now knows about it.

greenworld 4 years, 7 months ago

K2 now called K3 and then it will become K4 and then K5. I got some really good Rock Chalk Jayhawk the other day......

Boston_Corbett 4 years, 7 months ago

Better lock up the parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme.

Law enforcement acts like idiots. And the Journal World writes the sky is falling.

It's a great prescription for more idiotic behavior.

Let's have some more legislative hearings to show how terrible everything is.

ksjayhawk74 4 years, 7 months ago

Did you know you can get high if you smoke banana peels? It totally works, that's what the song "Mello Yellow" is about.

Next month's headlines: "Kansas legislation banning banana sales goes into effect"

But don't worry kids, cigarettes will always be available.

Keith 4 years, 7 months ago

Mellow Yellow, a misunderstood song about a vibrator.

phoggyjay 4 years, 7 months ago

Like I posted before: Don't be a dope, smoke the real stuff.

Boston_Corbett 4 years, 7 months ago

Echinachea isn't approved by the FDA or DEA either.

Those of you growing cone-flowers better be prepared to have your house seized by the government.

Ron Holzwarth 4 years, 7 months ago

You bet they're for planting purposes only, they have some sort of antifungal or something on them that is very toxic.

You need to wait for next year's seed crop.

notfreedom 4 years, 7 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

carlep_99 4 years, 5 months ago

My belief is that they should not be able to ban an item based on its improper use. The K2 product label clearly states - For aromatherapy use only - not for consumption. If they can ban a product based on people using it in other ways other than what is on the label then they should have to ban products like compressed cans of air for cleaning electronics. Yes they put a inhalant deterent in the can but its a deterent not a definite way of stopping the improper use also if you try to buy white out at Walmart you are required to be at least 18 years of age due to the improper use. So those items should have to be banned just as well as K2 in my opinion. Or regulate the sale as having to be 18 come on if they do that with white out why not "Herbal Incense"

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