April 20, 2011
The Texas Department of State Health Services is outlawing marijuana-like substances that are commonly found in K2, Spice and other synthetic marijuana products. The ban will become effective April 22.
DSHS placed five synthetic cannabinoid substances in Schedule I of the Texas Schedules of Controlled Substances, making it illegal to manufacture, distribute, possess and sell the substances. Penalties for the manufacture, sale or possession of K2 are Class A or B
K2 or Spice, often marketed as herbal incense, contain substances that produce psychoactive effects similar to those from smoking marijuana. These marijuana-like substances are readily available through smoke shops, gas stations and the Internet.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration used its emergency scheduling authority to temporarily ban synthetic marijuana or similar “fake pot” products that mimic the effects of marijuana. The DEA action March 2 made it illegal to manufacture, sell or possess these products for at least one year.
Following the DEA’s action, DSHS is required by state law to place the substances on the Texas Schedules of Controlled Substances unless the commissioner objects.
Schedule I, the most restrictive category on the Texas Schedules of Controlled Substances, is reserved for unsafe, highly abused substances with no accepted medical use. Five chemicals, JWH -018, JWH-073, JWH-200, CP-47,497, and cannabicyclohexanol that are found in K2 were placed on the Schedule.
Penalties for the manufacture, sale or possession of K2 are outlined in Section 481.119 of the Texas Controlled Substances Act. The penalties remain in effect unless the Texas Legislature determines a different penalty group for the substances.
Persons found guilty of a Class A misdemeanor are subject to a fine not to exceed $4,000 and/or confinement in jail for a term not to exceed one year. Persons found guilty of a Class B misdemeanor are subject to a fine not to exceed $2,000 and/or confinement in jail for a term not to exceed 180 days.
Since January 2010, approximately 600 calls were made to the Texas Poison Center
Network related to K2 exposure. Reported adverse effects associated with use of these marijuana-like substances include chest pain, heart palpitations, agitation, drowsiness, hallucinations, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and confusion.
(News Media Contact:Christine Mann, DSHS Assistant Press Officer,
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