Is It the New Legal Marijuana or just "Pot-pourri"?
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Drugs of all kinds should be taken with caution
A new marijuana-like substance has hit the market, creating a sensation among those adventurous enough to try it. The stuff is called K2, spice or “scary spice,” as some people have labeled it. K2 resembles herbs or potpourri and can be smoked just like marijuana. Apparently it gets some people high and doesn’t show up on drug tests.
Other users have tried mixtures with an impressive array of catchy names: Love Potion, Venom, Diablo, Wicked, Space Cadet, Bloody Mary, Mad Hatter, G-13, Camel Crush, King Kong, Purple Haze, Atomic Blueberry, Cloud 9, Magic XXX, Klimax and Xotic.
Unfortunately, these herbal mixtures have also given some users what could be called bad trips. Users have reported side effects such as fearsome hallucinations, nausea, vomiting or headaches. Moreover, in an article on the Web site, www.choosehelp.com, Dr. Ulrich S. Zimmermann, claims that a brand of herbal smoke named Spice Gold is addictive. Ulrich also says that many ingredients, including a synthetic cannabinoid, are not listed on the product’s package. (Cannabinoids are structurally similar to THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the main psychoactive compound found in marijuana.)
The advertising on some Web sites state that all herbal mixtures sold contain only legal ingredients (no marijuana) and are nicotine and tobacco free; in fact, some of the benefits of smoking such may include helping people quit smoking tobacco. However, judging from some of the product names – Wild Lettuce Opium Extract, Black Russian Herbal Hash, Panama Red Ball, Hard Core and Blueberry Haze – one might wonder what’s really in these products!
Some of these herbal concoctions may contain Salvia divinorum or diviner’s sage, a hallucinogen sometimes compared to LSD. Mazatec shamans in Mexico use it to facilitate a visionary state of consciousness. Not everybody has a good trip with this stuff, so beware. The substance is legal in most countries and states of the U.S.
Of course people should realize that just because something is legal doesn’t mean it’s wise for people to consume it. After all, alcohol and tobacco, legal in most parts of the world, have caused countless billions of dollars of damage to social structures for hundreds of years. For good reason, the United States tried to ban the use of alcohol back in 1920.
Anyway, the use of K2, developed in Europe, is completely unregulated and its effects mostly undocumented. People, in search of a cheap and legal buzz, might as well go into the nearby field and harvest whatever is out there. Try some Jimsonweed, if you will. It’s got white flowers. White flowers couldn’t hurt you, right? Jimson weed, a.k.a. locoweed, will send you to a really freaky place and perhaps drive you into a psychotic state as well. But, hey, it’s legal. In fact, Jimson weed has so many bad side effects the authorities haven’t bothered to make it illegal!
Prefer to consume a spice of some kind? Ingesting common nutmeg can get one stoned - and it can be smoked. Taken in large amounts, nutmeg has a similar chemical composition to MDMA (ecstasy). But if taken in excess, nutmeg can produce numerous unpleasant side effects, including a sense of impending death!
Naturally, marijuana, at times considered the most popular drug in the world, is still available. It's illegal to use marijuana in most of the United States, yet 18 states (and Washington D.C.) have legalized its use for medicinal purposes; and two states, Colorado and Washington, have legalized its use for recreational purposes. For example, California, often considered the bellwether state, decriminalized the use of a small amount of marijuana (less than an ounce) in 1976. And in 1996, California became the second state to legalize the medicinal use of marijuana (Virginia was the first in 1979).
Since marijuana, by some stretch of the imagination, can be considered “medicine,” if people must smoke to get high, the use of marijuana may be preferable to substances such as K2. At least the effects of marijuana have been studied for years and it is not considered addictive, though there’s great disagreement on this subject. Only the individual should decide for certain if it's okay to smoke it. Nevertheless, if you live in states such as Oklahoma or Texas, where possession of small amounts of marijuana can be a felony, either move to another state or avoid smoking it entirely.
So, if you try smoking any of this herbal stuff, be very careful. Just smoke a little at first and see what happens. Then proceed with caution. Or perhaps you should try medicinal marijuana instead. But only if you must.
After all, nobody needs to smoke anything, do they?
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© 2010 Kelley
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