This is a PSA for all my fun-loving friends out there! Often, people want to alter their consciousness in some way; all kinds of people do this. Whether that be with caffeine, alcohol, cannabis, or even psychedelics, it’s a natural “urge” and it’s shortsighted and immature to judge one another for wanting to do so. But one thing you should NEVER partake in is the poisonous “legal high” found right in your local smoke shop.
— 10 Health TV (@10HealthTV) April 16, 2015
Going by cute and edgy names such as “K2” “Spice” and “Yucatan Fire,” it’s often referred to as “synthetic marijuana” yet is a complete and utter insult to the cannabis plant. Just a little bit of what’s in these bags can kill you after just one smoke. Sounds like BS propaganda, but it’s been proven true, and I don’t take stories of adverse drug effects lightly. Ever.
Popularized due to the popularity of drug testing in corporate America (and the military!), this “synthetic” marijuana is really just a bunch of random herb leaves sprayed with chemicals. Kind of like a potpourri that you’d buy to make your house smell good, except deadly. These chemicals try and fail to replicate the effects of cannabinoids in the brain.
The makers of the products label their herbs as “natural” and “not for human consumption” in order to circumvent prosecution for selling this stuff, but are known often secretly substitute Schedule I psychoactive substances of unknown potency for the “natural” ingredients. Meaning you can get a little or a lot of drug for your buck, and it is never going to be the same stuff twice.
Different people have different reactions to smoking synthetic weed, especially since the ingredients are more or less a grab bag every time. But from what I’ve heard, headache, amplified paranoia and heavy sweating seem to be the most common side effects. If you’re unlucky, you could end up stuck in a hallucination, throwing up blood – or dead.
Normally I’d say “don’t quote me on this,” but since the majority of psychoactive drug research in the US is founded on fear and anecdotal evidence rather than actual science, you can go ahead and quote me based on my own experience and research into the Drug War as an activist and professional in the industry. My personal opinion is that “psychoactive” herbal mixtures like K2 and Spice have been retailed for so long, legal and largely unregulated, because the government actually wants people to try it and think that is what “being high” feels like. Sure, there’s a bit of a legal loophole because the products are labeled as “incense,” but that loophole is kept open for a reason.
Excuse my French, but that is shameful as fuck, not to mention a HORRIBLE way to discourage drug use – especially when the original substance in this case is much safer than the copycat.
This “cause” is special to me because the negative press around “synthetic marijuana” – and these deaths – truly undercuts the pro-cannabis movement and all the health benefits that real cannabis brings to people. I’ve also seen (via social media) a friend of a friend from my hometown who actually died after smoking Spice just one time. Connor was only 19, and unfortunately was declared brain-dead in the hospital before his parents even had a chance to say goodbye, then eventually had to be taken off life support. Just one smoke! Wow! And yet these herbs weren’t even mentioned in those stupid “D.A.R.E” videos from back in the day. Visit the website Connor’s mother set up for a little more info on these horrific legal substances.
So please friends, do me a favor: if you want to get a headchange, always go “au naturale.” Or, if you have to be drug tested for work or school, please think twice about trying a synthetic “for fun.”
I believe these “incense” manufacturers should be prosecuted for manslaughter, and justice brought to every single one of these people who has died trying to pass a stupid drug test. But since that will probably never happen, educate your family and friends, and especially children about what is SAFE, and what is NOT. Remember that does NOT always line up with what is actually LEGAL to buy!!
And before you pass judgment – remember this: you’re not “drug free” if you drink alcohol or are a slave to your coffee every morning. You’re just like the rest of us. A little open-mindedness and education goes a long way.