Legal Fake Pot Scarier Than Illegal Drugs

Washington Post columnist Colbert I. King says there's a new dangerous, legal drug targeted to teens.

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Raul Arboleda/AFP

For those who think marijuana and prescription pills are a parent's biggest worry, Washington Post columnist Colbert I. King says there's a new legal drug of choice. Called K2 or "Kush," the drug has a risk of "anxiety attacks, convulsions, fast heart rates and raised blood pressure" and can be purchased at your local gas station.

While my gas tank was being filled at the Exxon station in the 4500 block of Benning Road NE, I asked a clerk for Kush. She reached behind her and produced a shiny, colored plastic bag with "Kush" written on it. We were separated by glass but, at my request, she turned the bag around so I could read the label on the back. Several ingredients — none of which I recognized — were listed, along with the admonition "Not to be sold to children." She said the price was $8. I declined to buy it.

My experience at a gas station at Brentwood Road and V Street NE was easier. I didn't even have to ask. Bags of Kush were on display inside the cashier's glass enclosure. The clerk told me a bag cost $25. Again, I declined.

I learned much more after my gas station visits.

K2, Kush, Fake Weed, Spice, Blaze and Red X Dawn are only some of the brand names of "fake pot" sold at retail outlets in the United States and online, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration's Washington bureau spokesman, Jeffrey Scott. A Feb. 29 DEA news release explained the common denominator: These are smokeable herbal products consisting of plant material that has been coated with research chemicals that claim to mimic THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

Read Colbert I. King's entire op-ed at the Washington Post.

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