Over the past few years, smokable herbal blends marketed as being “legal” and providing a marijuana-like high, have become increasingly popular, particularly among teens and young adults.
These products consist of plant material that has been coated with research chemicals that mimic THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, and are sold at a variety of retail outlets, in head shops and over the Internet. Until now, there has been no official ban.
Parents be Aware: brands such as “Spice,” “K2,” “Blaze,” and “Red X Dawn” and others are often mis-labeled – some as incense, to mask their intended purpose.
Except as authorized by law, this action will make possessing and selling these chemicals or the products that contain them, illegal in the U.S. for at least one year, while the DEA and the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) further study whether these chemicals and products should be permanently controlled.
A Notice of Intent to Temporarily Control was published in the Federal Register today to alert the public to this action. They will be designated as Schedule I substances, the most restrictive category, which is reserved for unsafe, highly abused substances with no medical usage.
DEA has received an increasing number of reports from poison centers, hospitals and law enforcement regarding these products.
Fifteen states have already taken action to control one or more of these chemicals.
The Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984 amends the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to allow the DEA Administrator to emergency schedule an abused, harmful, non-medical substance in order to avoid an imminent public health crisis while the formal rule-making procedures described in the CSA are being conducted.
“The American public looks to the DEA to protect its children and communities from those who would exploit them for their own gain,” said DEA Acting Administrator Michele M. Leonhart.
“Makers of these harmful products mislead their customers into thinking that “fake pot” is a harmless alternative to illegal drugs, but that is not the case. Today’s action will call further attention to the risks of ingesting unknown compounds and will hopefully take away any incentive to try these products.”