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The "Fake Marijuana" Situation is Getting Confusing

As efforts to ban fake marijuana products continue to escalate, I predict we'll be seeing a lot of this sort of thing:
My understanding is that JWH-018 is the active ingredient in question here, but is that the end of the story? Maybe there are 9 other similar compounds that will work as well. Maybe there are 100. I'm not a scientist, but I'm starting to get the impression that the whole synthetic marijuana substitution phenomenon is just getting started. Banning a single ingredient will not only fail for all the reasons that prohibition always fails, but it might not even succeed in making fake pot illegal. Don't be surprised to see the DEA intervene at some point wielding the broad Federal Analogue Act, but you can't possibly ban every random concoction someone might stuff in a bong.

Science is smarter than prohibition, so the longer we have stupid rules about what people are and are not allowed to ingest for their own amusement, the more loopholes will emerge to circumvent and trivialize those rules.
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Synthetic cannabinoids/marijuana

I've worked in labs using and thoroughly studied synthetic cannabinoids. Yes, there are something on the order of a hundred + synthetic cannabinoids and banning them becomes thoroughly difficult when:
-Different companies/lab groups may have synthesized the same chemical and given it a different name.
-A single company/lab group will likely own the rights to the chemical structure and refuse to release the information, making it impossible to ban the actual chemical in question. If the authorities were to seize a batch of supposed "JWH-18" or whatever chemical, how is it going to test that, indeed, that is the chemical we have here, when the chemical structure is a secret? (Not to mention that to test for the presence of a substance involves developing an assay for that specific chemical... there's no magic "analysis box" that you can just throw a substance in and have it spit out an answer...)

Furthermore, this whole banning of synthetic cannabinoids is going to impede scientific progress. When a lab synthesizes a new cannabinoid (synthetic marijuana derivative) for research interests it isn't going to be considered a controlled substance BUT if you ban it b/c somebody likes to use it to get high, that lab might have to abandon its research or at least put its research on hold (research that goes toward helping the sick) until it gets the proper DEA permits to work with its newly banned substance - if it's able to obtain said permits at all!

I've done loads of research

I've done loads of research on the chemical JWH-018. There are many benefits as well as disadvantages for this. If you would like more information, I'd suggest you take a look at for more info.

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