Synthetic Cannabinoids: Georgia Becomes Latest State to Ban K2

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #634)
Drug War Issues
Politics & Advocacy

In a Monday statement, Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue (R) announced he had signed into law a bill outlawing the sale and possession of synthetic marijuana in the state. Georgia is the latest in a growing number of states that have moved to criminalize K2.

[inline:spicedrug.jpg align=right caption="''spice'' packet (courtesy"]K2 is just one of the names for herbal preparations powdered with a synthetic cannabinoid, JWH-108, created by Clemson University organic chemist John W. Huffman in the mid-1990s. Products sold as Spice, Genie, and Zohai also contain the compound, which produces a high similar to marijuana.

The Georgia bill, HB 1309, places K2 as a Schedule I controlled substance alongside heroin and above cocaine, Ritalin, and opium, which are all Schedule III. The bill passed by a 148-2 vote in the House and a 48-0 vote in the Senate.

"K2 is a potent drug that can be difficult to detect," said Gov. Perdue. "Adding it to our state's banned substances list will protect Georgians' safety and health."

While most users report pot-like highs, some have been showing up in hospital emergency rooms complaining of hallucinations, paranoia, seizures, and vomiting. Dr. Anthony Scalzo of the Missouri Poison Center in St. Louis told USA Today that reports of ER visits for K2 were spreading rapidly.

"At first we had about a dozen cases, but then it really blossomed. By the first week of April, we had 40 cases," said Scalzo. "Missouri remains the epicenter, but it's spreading out." There have been 352 cases of K2 poisoning in 35 states, he said.

Synthetic cannabinoids were banned in Kansas in March and Kentucky in April. An Alabama ban goes into effect July 1, while legislatures in Missouri and Tennessee have passed bans that will go into effect absent a gubernatorial veto. Bills to ban K2 are also under consideration in Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, New Jersey and New York. It is also banned by a number of municipalities scattered across the county.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


Giordano (not verified)

(Lines 21-3) “WHEREAS, the General Assembly should address the growing threat of synthetic cannabinoids to the health, safety, and welfare of our citizens before the problem becomes epidemic in the State of Georgia”  LC 35 1829S/AP        H. B. 1309.

It appears the General Assembly has a lot of time to waste.  If they’re going to ban individual THC chemical analogues (of which there are potentially thousands) merely to justify their existence, or allegedly before something becomes an epidemic, they need to understand something known as ‘priorities’.

If the General Assembly of Georgia were truly concerned about the State of Georgia and its citizens’ epidemics of addiction, how about the state’s addiction to carbon-based energy production and other polluting fuels?  Talk about a health hazard.

According to the Department of Energy: “Georgia's electricity generation and consumption are among the highest in the United States, with coal being the primary electrical generation of fuel. However, the state also has two nuclear power plants which contribute less than one fourth of Georgia's electricity generation. The statistics are 75% coal, 16% nuclear, 7% oil and natural gas, and 1% hydroelectric/other. The leading area of energy consumption is the industrial sector because Georgia is a leader in the energy-intensive wood and paper products industry.”  Not hemp products, just wood products.

We’re waiting for Georgia to clean up its act.  Instead, it’s being distracted by arbitrary chemicals that tickle people’s CB1 and CB2 receptors.

C’mon, Georgia, get with it.


Sun, 05/30/2010 - 7:49pm Permalink
sicntired (not verified)

[email protected],Vancouver,B.C.CanadaI am on a program that uses synthetic thc to combat all manner of illness.The stuff is way more powerful that the average pot and it keeps you tired all the next day.Good for something,perhaps.It certainly gets you wasted.

Sun, 06/06/2010 - 8:53am Permalink

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