28 january 2013
Synthetic marijuana warning
Synthetic cannibas sold under names like Spice, K2, or IZMS. Chemicals unknown as yet, but with some tragic side effects.
Robberies for handfuls of cash from small shops like variety stores, are not uncommon in major cities.
However, a recent robbery of a small store in the large urban city of Hamilton, in southern Ontario, a sex-shop in this case, has attracted a lot of attention.
The reason this robbery was different was that the robber was not interested in the money at all, rather a product known as synthetic marijuana.
It’s a new product being sold in these small stores, in attractive packets under brand names like Spice, K2, or IZMS (pron. izz -ums) among others, including AK47 or Dream. They sell for roughly between $15-$60 per small packet of 1 to 3 grams.
However, police in Canada are warning both the buyers and the sellers against the products.
Because these packets of synthetic marijuana are a relatively recent phenomenon, police and other authorities were not very familiar with them. Police suspect that suppliers have been telling small store owners that the product was legal, and many users also believe the product is legal.
(one of the brands of the synthetic weed IZMS- commonly pronounced -izzums- (coutesty Hamilton Police Service)
The packets contain a variety of plant materials which appear to have been sprayed with synthetic cannabinoids, along with other unknown chemicals.
Often marketed as incense or potpourri, and with the words “not for consumption” marked on them, it is widely understood by purchasers that smoking the product will induce a high, although perhaps more akin to LSD than marijuana.
(Health Canada handout) The products are sold in small colourful packets under a variety of names, although Spice and K2 seem to have become generic.
It is believed that some of the chemicals being used were created by a scientist at Clemson University in the USA, for research purposes in the 1990s. The compounds were never tested on humans. It is not known how the formulas became available, but in an interview in 2011 with the Chicago Tribune, the scientist who led the development of the research compounds said, "These things are dangerous -- anybody who uses them is playing Russian roulette."
Because of colourful packaging, and the price, they are popular products among students. There have however been reports of very bad reactions in some cases, including permanent brain damage.
Because the products are now considered a “controlled substance” in Canada, police are advising that sellers could face trafficking charges. Health officials are warning also that the effects of smoking the product are unpredictable and long-term effects are unknown.
RCI’s Marc Montgomery spoke to Hamilton Police Service spokesperson, Constable Debbie McGreal-Dinning
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29 January 2013 - 10:20
Is not this capitalism, free-enterprise business?
Sent by Edward Schweikert, Albany, GA, USA
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