That incense your child has been burning over the past year might have more to it than what meets the eye. There has been a new product on the market recently that's been sold as "herbal incense," but the product has been used by some consumers as more of a drug rather than as a fragrant home product.
It has been sold in stores as K2, Spice and Blaze, but for the most part, critics now commonly refer to the substance as "fake pot." And the DEA has taken notice of the product, perhaps because of reported adverse reactions to the chemicals in the merchandise. Some consumers have reportedly been smoking the herbal product and enjoying a high that's comparable to the influence of marijuana.
As of last week, however, the DEA announced that all sales of "fake pot" must cease until further investigation into the product reveals the potential effect that it has users. One DEA representative clarifies the reason behind prohibiting the sales and possession of the questionable incense: "Makers of these harmful products mislead their consumers into thinking that 'fake pot' is a harmless alternative to illegal drugs, but that is not the case."
The Denver Post reports that an area poison and drug center has been receiving calls related to using the "fake pot" and its effect on users' health. The symptoms that callers allegedly reported ranged from hallucinating to an elevated heart rate, and some users' reactions were so serious that hospital stays were necessary.
Being that young, even child consumers have had access to the chemical, safety advocates have been worried that not only was selling "fake pot" a loophole around laws against marijuana use, but the product also put young lives at risk. One Colorado smoking shop owner who has been selling the herbal product insists that he has only been selling it to consumers who were 18 and older.
But for at least the next year, whether stores have been selling the herbal merchandise to only adults is not important. Any selling or possession of the product will be treated as though the product were real marijuana. To avoid drug charges, therefore, all consumers should continue following the DEA's decisions regarding "fake pot." If caught with the substance, offenders might face criminal charges that could result in a prison sentence.
We will keep you posted when updates about this product develop.
Denverpost.com: "DEA bans 'fake pot' incense as youths using it to get high," John Ingold, 25 Nov. 2010