State Capitol News
1:43 pm
Thu February 3, 2011

State House Gives Preliminary Approval to Criminalize Synthetic Marijuana

Phoenix, AZ – Lawmakers are targeting products marketed under the names spice
and K2. They're not illegal because they are technically
different compounds than T-H-C, the psychoactive ingredient in
marijuana. Rep. Matt Heinz said some users may figure that, what
with the state legalizing marijuana at least for medical
purposes, there's no big deal in inhaling some chemical relative.

(These THC analogs, some of them don't look anything like THC
from a molecular chemical standpoint. These were designed for
research purposes, investigational purposes only. And you can
talk to the labs who designed these. These were never designed
for recreational use.)

But Heinz said that's not stopping them from being sold.

(So you have companies in China and Europe and in Mexico that are
mass-producing the stuff, spraying it on plant substrate of some
kind, marketing as incense, and having it stealth marketed on
campuses, around town, at the water cooler, wherever, to 17-to-
25-year-olds, the most susceptible population, who don't know any
better.)

Heinz, an emergency room doctor, said what's worse is that,
unlike marijuana, the effects are unpredictable: One person may
get high while another can have stroke-like symptoms. A final
vote will send the measure to the Senate. For Arizona Public
Radio this is Howard Fischer.