It can cause psychosis, hallucinations, paranoid delusions, disorganized speech, thoughts of suicide and more.
Sounds like a party, right?
Yeah, we're talking about synthetic marijuana, the existence of which in Southern California is a complete mystery to us. You can easily get a doctor's recommendation, go to any number of dispensaries and purchase high-grade, all-natural cannabis that will get you higher than Kanye West when he's thinking about himself.
Yet, somehow, there's a market for this crap.
Maybe the DEA's 2011 ban just made people want to rebel. The U.S. Attorney's Office this week said a dozen suspects in Southern California have been arrested for the "large-scale manufacture and distribution" of a drug that's also been sold as Spice and K2 and, yes, Scooby Snax (no, not Rooby Rax).
The arrests were part of a nationwide synthetic-pot crackdown that has seen 151 people arrested,
Among SoCal defendants who were allegedly part of a Skid Row ring downtown, according to a U.S. Attorney's Office statement, are:
Faisal Iqbal, 34, of Glendale, who was arrested yesterday;
Sana Faisal, 32, of Glendale, Faisal Iqbal’s wife, who was arrested yesterday;
Mohammad Iqbal, 65, of Glendale, Faisal Iqbal’s father, who is a fugitive believed to be in Pakistan;
Fidencio Garcia Jr., 25, of North Hollywood, who was arrested yesterday;
Ahmad Abu Farie, 54, of Huntington Beach, who was arrested yesterday;
Mohammad Abu Farie, 25, of Huntington Beach, Ahmad Abu Farie’s son, who surrendered to authorities this morning ...
A second case included Samia Amaninawabi, 39, of Ontario, who is supposed to surrender to authorities tomorrow, federal prosecutors said. A third case out of Orange County includes the following suspects, the U.S. Attorney's Office says:
Adnan Bahhur, 55, of Anaheim, who has not yet been taken into custody;
Islam Bahhur, 29, of Anaheim, Adnan Bahhur’s son, who was arrested yesterday;
Hakeem Bahhur, 24, of Anaheim, another son of Adnan Bahhur, who has not yet been taken into custody;
Mohamad Hamade, 31, of Irvine, who was arrested yesterday;
Oun Alrzouq, 49, of Anaheim, who was arrested yesterday ...
All the area arrestees were arraigned yesterday, pleaded not guilty and are expected to stand trial later this year, prosecutors said. Most faced charges of conspiracy to manufacture drugs, possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of controlled-substance analogues, feds said.
They face up to 20 years behind bars if convicted.
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The outlaw synthetic products often are made in "rogue labs" in China, prosecutors said in a statement:
The chemicals are mixed with agents – often acetone – to create a mixture that is sprayed onto plant material – typically marshmallow leaf or damania leaf – to create synthetic marijuana, which is commonly referred to as “spice” or “herbal incense.” Such synthetic cannabinoids are smoked or orally ingested ...
"These are extremely dangerous drugs, despite being falsely marketed to youth as being a ‘safe’ alternative and having innocent names like ‘spice’ and ‘K2,'" said the U.S. Attorney for Los Angeles, Eileen M. Decker. "The often unknown and constantly changing chemicals in these drugs can have unpredictable and devastating effects on users."
This is one time when we agree with the drug warriors. Not all substances are created equal. Choose wisely.