Chemists Find Their Way Around K2 Ban

7 years 2 months 3 weeks ago Tuesday, November 30 2010 Nov 30, 2010 Tuesday, November 30, 2010 8:19:51 AM CST November 30, 2010 in News

COLUMBIA - Some local vendors are carrying a product that consumers say is a new way to get high. Authorities say the version of a synthetic marijuana, commonly known as K3, gets by the ban of K2 and produces similar effects.

MU Psychology professor Dennis Miller said chemists have been making man-made chemical compounds that act like marijuana for the past 30 years. He said a small chemical change to K2, makes new products like K3 legal.

"It's going to be tough for the federal government, for the drug enforcement agency to keep up with the synthetic cannabinoids. There's lots of them there and home chemists are starting to be able to make them just as they make meth and ecstasy," Miller said.

Products like K3 are made up of dried plant material that is sprayed with synthetic chemicals. When smoked, Miller said it produces effects like marijuana.

"A person would feel more relaxed, be a little tired, a little bit drowsy, less anxious..." Miller said.

MU student Andrew Johnson said he smokes a product like K3 called "Happy Fun Time" to wind down.

"It's probably [a] later on in the day kind of thing. Where I got nothing else to do so why not get some "Happy Fun Time" in," Johnson said.

Johnson said the feeling lasts about 30 minutes.

"It's just kind of relaxing. I don't really know besides really lazy. I don't want to do anything and everything kind of makes me happy," Johnson said.

Under Senate Bill 887 that passed in August 2010, MO banned the products commonly known as K2. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, chemists sprayed the products with chemicals like JWH-018 and JWH-073. The crime lab that the Columbia Police Department is working with found those same chemicals in products like K3, just repackaged. Additionally, they found the chemicals JWH-250 and JWH-081 in some of the new products.

K2 and K3 comparison


"It may be sprayed with an analog of those cannabinoids and so that materials been altered a little bit so technically it's not illegal but it was really just a minute change, a way to try and get around the law," said Columbia Police Officer Jessie Haden.

Some of the products KOMU8 found were labeled 'Missouri Compliant' and 'Not for human consumption.' However, no ingredients were listed on the packaging. Columbia police said the products could contain chemicals that have not yet been tested as safe or could contain the already banned chemicals.

"What is on the label, isn't necessarily indicative of what's on the product and you're responsible for what's on that product if you have possession. And so we would urge people not to take the risk," Haden said.

According to the National Conference of State Legislators, possession of products like K2 in Missouri receive the same treatment as a marijuana possession. Possession of 35 grams or less of the banned synthetic marijuana is a class A misdemeanor and possession of more than 35 grams is a class C felony.

Columbia vendors are selling the product as incense. Employees at Eye Candy, where Johnson purchased "Happy Fun Time," said they do not sell the products if they believe someone is going to smoke it.

Bocomo Bay in Columbia sells their own brand of the incense and in many different scents. Employees said the product is good for their business.

"Business has definitely been better than it used to be because of this product," Bocomo Bay employee John Hawkins said. "We just reiterate that it's an aroma therapy and it can be used as that and that's what it's for. What people take out of here and do with it we just have no control over it, nobody has any control over anything. It's like buying a can of paint. Some people take it home and actually paint their walls with it, and other people take it home and sniff it."

"It's being sold as and publicly marketed as incense however the people selling it realize that the people are buying it to smoke it. They know that full well, but they know they're trying to lower their liability by marketing it as incense," Officer Haden said.

Hawkins said the battle of legalizing synthetic marijuana should send a message to lawmakers.

"We continue to make things illegal and people continue to develop new products to take its place. So maybe we need to legalize marijuana and let it go," Hawkins said.

The Columbia Police Department said it hasn't had many issues with K2 products and has not had any issues with K3 products thus far. Police said, however, they are researching the products for the safety of consumers.

"The synthetic cannabinoids, on the K2, aren't really all that complicated, but as you start to make derivatives or people try and make knock-offs or pretend substances and we don't know what those items are sprayed with, that really becomes a concern for us, for the safety of the community. How's it affecting people's health and how's it going to affect their behavior and how will it affect their driving?" Officer Haden said.

Synthetic marijuana smoker Andrew Johnson said products like K3 are less efficacious then those like K2. Still, he said, it has some side effects.

"I'll be really laid back and just lounging around and then occasionally I thought I'll like hear something. So, I freak out for a second and then I forget about it and then I lay down again and watch TV or something," Johnson said.  

Police said controlling these substances for good will take much more than banning products like K3.

"If the legislature determines that they want to broaden this law so they can't get around it by making analogs, they'll have to say these particular substances, the ones that have been identified to date, and all their analogs as well," Officer Haden said.

A bill to ban K3 is being drafted. Republican State Representative Ward Franz is working to develop a bill that would ban the chemicals in K3 and different versions that could be developed. Franz told KOMU that he is working with the Department of Health and Senior Services and the state narcotics department to narrow down which chemicals need to be banned to prevent new products from being developed.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 10 other states besides Missouri have put bans on the chemicals commonly found in K2. Those states are Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.

Arkansas, Hawaii, Iowa, and North Dakota have placed administrative bans and are working towards state bans on the chemicals.

Michigan and Mississippi are the only two states with bans that include JWH-250, one of the chemicals commonly found in products like K3.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Columbia police have taken a 13-year-old male into custody Saturday in connection with a social media post community... More >>
1 hour ago Saturday, February 24 2018 Feb 24, 2018 Saturday, February 24, 2018 2:38:00 PM CST February 24, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Police say a pedestrian has been hit and killed in a southeastern section of St. Louis.... More >>
2 hours ago Saturday, February 24 2018 Feb 24, 2018 Saturday, February 24, 2018 1:39:04 PM CST February 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Cradle to Career Alliance hosted a symposium Saturday on what strategies they recommend to help increase your... More >>
3 hours ago Saturday, February 24 2018 Feb 24, 2018 Saturday, February 24, 2018 12:24:00 PM CST February 24, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS — Two men convicted in a 2015 drive-by shooting of a St. Louis police sergeant have been sentenced... More >>
5 hours ago Saturday, February 24 2018 Feb 24, 2018 Saturday, February 24, 2018 10:44:00 AM CST February 24, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD — A 75-year-old man has been found guilty of financially exploiting an older Springfield woman. Howard Roberts of... More >>
5 hours ago Saturday, February 24 2018 Feb 24, 2018 Saturday, February 24, 2018 10:43:00 AM CST February 24, 2018 in News
Chesterfield, MO - Nearly two weeks after a shooting in Parkland, Florida that killed seventeen students and teachers, students... More >>
18 hours ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 10:18:00 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Some veterans living in or near the Truman VA clinic often have to make the drive to... More >>
20 hours ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 8:07:00 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Ameren Missouri proposed an incentive program to install more charging stations for electric cars across Missouri. The program,... More >>
20 hours ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 7:28:00 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
ST. CHARLES - The man accused in the death of trooper James Bava is facing lowered charges as his second... More >>
22 hours ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 5:45:00 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department spent the morning investigating a possible threat against Columbia Public Schools. The post... More >>
23 hours ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 4:27:00 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Show-Me State Games isn't officially until June, but the competition is already underway. More than 90... More >>
23 hours ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 4:22:00 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Mary Ratliff grew up in the small community of Ripley, Mississipi. It is a community where she said... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 1:52:00 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
UPDATE COLUMBIA - Columbia Public Schools sent out a release Friday afternoon to the families of CPS, clarifying... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 1:46:00 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri has never removed a governor through impeachment. But after Gov. Eric Greitens' felony indictment yesterday, some... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 12:55:00 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
REPUBLIC (AP) — Police have seized five guns and two books from a 13-year-old boy officers allege had threatened... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 12:39:46 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Governor Eric Greitens was indicted Thursday afternoon on a felony charge of invasion of privacy. The indictment alleged... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 12:39:00 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
BELLAFONTAINE NEIGHBORS (AP) — Police have found three dead in what officers suspect is a murder-suicide in a St.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 12:34:52 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Seven people have been indicted in a Kansas City drug-trafficking conspiracy that included two... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 10:24:18 AM CST February 23, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 49°
5pm 50°
6pm 49°
7pm 50°
8pm 48°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

2:00p
2018 Olympic Winter Games
5:00p
Jeopardy!
5:30p
NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt
4:00p
Elementary
5:00p
Sheriffs El Dorado County
5:30p
Sheriffs El Dorado County

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
2018 Olympic Winter Games
7:00p
Family Guy
7:30p
Family Guy
8:00p
Bob's Burgers
8:30p
Bob's Burgers
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld