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Tag: k2

First of 2 Parts: China Exports Deadly New Designer Drugs for American Teens

Ross Parker was chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit for 8 years and worked as an AUSA for 28 in that office.

By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com

Cyber information is not the only thing the Chinese are stealing from the United States. A new generation of synthetic designer drugs is robbing the physical and mental health of thousands of American teenagers. In the last two years enterprising rogue Chinese chemists have introduced hundreds of these new chemical combinations into the American market.

Although the motive is crassly profit-oriented rather than something even more sinister, the effect is sadly the same. Emergency room admissions and law enforcement reports reveal a looming public health crisis unlike that caused by any preceding class of drugs.

And there is often little either group can do about it as they struggle to react to the problem.

A dizzying variety of medical and psychological problems are listed in recent reports.

A Hawaii man tried to throw his girlfriend off the 11th floor balcony of their apartment building.

A Kentucky woman threw her two-year old son from her car onto the highway because she believed him to be a demon.

A Mississippi man stabbed himself repeatedly in the abdomen with a hunting knife to remove wires he thought were inside his body.

The list of bizarre and tragic stories of behavior caused by the psychoactive drugs goes on and on and on.

Just when the public and law enforcement were beginning to grab a hold on the problems caused by cathinones (“bath salts”) and cannabinoids (“spice,” incorrectly referred to as synthetic marijuana), Chinese laboratories have unleashed modified chemical compounds beyond the practical and legal reach of all but the most sophisticated law enforcement authorities. The public, parents, and teachers, are almost completely unaware of the new drug problem that is unfolding. Medical professionals who treat these kids in hospitals are just becoming aware of the problem.

Drug analogues and chemical compounds altered to avoid enforcement are not a new phenomenon. Since heroin was made illegal in the 1920s, amoral profiteers have developed related and uncontrolled substances whose effects mimic, or even exceed, those of the illegal substance.

Efforts to modify illegal drugs are unwittingly assisted by legitimate, academic researchers studying psychoactive drugs for medical purposes who then publish the results of their research. A current example is a Purdue University professor studying the effect such compounds have on brain receptors in animals. His scientific publications are immediately co-opted by renegade chemists who use the knowledge to create new “legal” drugs to sell to their customers.

About a decade ago rogue chemists from China and elsewhere started using similar research to develop drugs such as bath salts and spice. The market developed in a generally westerly direction into Russia, then Europe, and finally to the United States.

These drugs were cheap. They were beyond law enforcement, and easily accessible through the internet. Middlemen wholesalers sold them in gas stations, convenience and liquor stores, and smoke shops. They were advertised as plant food, incense, and other purposes for which they had no actual utility. In fact, the substances have no legitimate medical or industrial application. For example, “bath salts” is just a street name and has nothing in common with those colorful little granules you put in your bathtub to make it bubbly. The sellers side-stepped even a misdemeanor FDA violation by printing “not for human consumption” on the brightly colored packaging–sometimes adding a cartoon character to appeal to youthful customers.

Read more »

Column: What if Spice/K2 Were Only a Black Thing

By Darrell Dawsey
Deadline Detroit

With fears growing over the hazards of K2 and Spice — forms of incense that young people in recent years have been smoking like weed to get high –Metro Detroit has opened up a new front in the battle against illicit drugs: The War on Potpurri.

While I don’t mind seeing politicians, businessmen and media types banding together to fight an obvious health hazard, my impolite ass still has to ask: Just how much of this outrage over K2 would we see if most of those smoking it, getting sick from it and dying because of it were black teens and young adults in the city?

Sure, I can appreciate Detroit Mayor Dave Bing’s recent anti-potpurri posturing, where he essentially told businesses selling K2 to hit 8 Mile Road as he announced a local ban on synthetic pot. Nothing wrong with taking up the battle as a region. But Bing needs to consistently show just as much backbone and defiance when addressing the more pressing hazards facing the children in the city he’s supposed to be in charge of.

To read the full story click here.

Ex-Trashman Makes Killing on Pot-Like High Product

Derek Williams/facebook

By Justin Blum
Bloomberg

Derek Williams was working as a trash-truck driver when his cousin told him about K2, a product made from plant materials and chemicals that provided a legal, marijuana-like high. Williams saw his ticket out of the residential rubbish business: Make a better blend.

He studied compounds that mimic the effects of pot, and almost a year after creating his own brand, Syn Incense, in his home in Kansas City, Missouri, Williams, 29, said he has sold more than $1.5 million worth in at least 10 states. Marketing the product as incense helps him avoid federal regulations, even though he said he knows most customers smoke it.

His ability to stay a step ahead of federal and state authorities underscores the hurdles regulators face as they move to ban chemicals used in such products, which they say may pose serious and unknown dangers. Williams said when his ingredients are restricted, he switches to similar ones.

“It became a money-making machine,” said Williams, adding that he hopes the business will lead to early retirement.

To read more click here.