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DEA Ban on 'Synthetic Marijuana' Takes Effect
The federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has temporarily banned five chemicals whose effects mimic marijuana, following through on an announcement it made last November, NPR reported March 1.
NPR said over 3,000 calls were made to poison control centers "since last year" related to "fake pot." Side effects of using the products, as reported by emergency rooms, include "anxiety attacks, elevated heart rates, vomiting, even convulsions."
The DEA said it was outlawing the chemicals to protect public health and safety.
The chemicals are sprayed on herbs and spices and sold under names like "K2" and "Spice." They include JWH-018, JWH-073, JWH-200, CP-47,497, and cannabicyclohexanol. Although 16 states have acted to prohibit one or more of the chemicals, no concerted action had been taken before the DEA order, and they remained legal in many areas.
The chemicals are now classified as Schedule I substances, according to a March 1 DEA press release. Schedule I substances are those that have "a high potential for abuse, no accepted medical use for treatment in the United States and a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug under medical supervision."
The ban will last for a year, but could be extended an additional six months. During that time, the agency will study the possibility of a permanent ban.
The full text of the final order from the DEA was published in theFederal Register on March 1.
Pot farm discovered inside Santa Ana warehouse
Santa Ana police Friday were investigating a large and sophisticated marijuana growing operation found inside a warehouse they raided.
“There were four very large rooms of marijuana in varying stages of growth,” said police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna, referring to Thursday's discovery.
Police believe that every six weeks between $120,000 and $160,000 worth of pot was moved from the warehouse.
City records show that the last time the warehouse was licensed to be used as a legitimate business was in late 2009, Bertagna said.
“No other business was being run out of it at this time,” he said. “It was being solely used for the cultivation of marijuana.”
No arrests were made and an investigation was continuing.
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