Prohibition: Kansas Becomes First State to Ban Synthetic Cannabinoid Blends Such As K2, Spice

Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson signed into law Tuesday HB 2411, which adds certain synthetic cannabinoids to the state's list of controlled substances. The bill is aimed directly at products containing a mixture of herbs and a powdered synthetic cannabinoid, JWH-018, which was isolated by a Clemson University researcher more than a decade ago. The products are sold under a variety of names, including Spice and K2. Kansas thus becomes the first state to ban K2, although a handful of localities in the region have already done so. A similar bill is working its way through the legislature in neighboring Missouri, and one is about to be introduced in Georgia. And, as law enforcement across the country jumps on the bandwagon, expect similar prohibitionist efforts to pop up in other states. Users report a marijuana-like high from using the blends. Although some adverse reactions have been reported, the number is small compared to the reported massive sales of the products. Under the new law, which goes into effect upon publication in the state register, possession of K2 becomes a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a $2500 fine. That's the same potential punishment as awaits someone busted for small-time marijuana possession in the Jayhawk State. “This legislation has received overwhelming support by Kansas law enforcement and the legislature,” said Parkinson in a signing statement. “It will help improve our communities by bettering equipping law enforcement officers in addressing this issue and deterring Kansans from drug use.” The governor is certainly correct about who supported the bill. Testifying for it were representatives of the Kansas County and District Attorneys Association, the Kansas Association of Chiefs of Police, the Kansas Sheriffs Association, the Kansas Peace Officers Association, and the Kansas Board of Pharmacy.
Location: 
Wichita, KS
United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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