County Crime and Drugs K2, Spice, Bath Salts

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This is the tenth in a series of articles to try and help the citizens of Van Zandt County to better understand the many factors surrounding the unlawful use of drugs and their connection to property crime in the county.  It is widely accepted that becoming educated about the problem gives us the ability to have some impact on what many consider a national crisis.  Thanks to the publication: Let’s All Work to Fight Drug Abuse, published by L.A.W. Publications for use of some of their resource material in this article.

K2.  At first it was a mystery.  Why would packets of potpourri-like mixes being sold as incense produce a high like marijuana when inhaled?  Appearing in Europe in the early 2000’s, word of this legal high spread very quickly.  The secret of this new way to get high was first thought to have been the precise blend of dried herbs, flowers and other plant matter.  The mystery deepened in 2008 when German lab tests revealed that many of the herbs listed on the package were not really in the package.  Additional testing found a chemical that was a synthetic copy of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.  It didn’t really matter what the physical herbal or plant mixture was because the high was coming from the chemical sprayed onto the mixture.  From there the K2 trail led back to 1993 when Clemson University chemist, John W. Huffman, developed the THC-like chemical while researching new pharmaceutical products.  No one knows how his formula came to be copied and marketed as incense.  Huffman noted that the chemical has unpredictable side-effects.  “People who use it are idiots,” he says.

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