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Posted on Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 5:59 a.m.

Synthetic marijuana: Washtenaw County officials consider options as efforts accelerate to ban it in Michigan

By Amy Biolchini


Synthetic marijuana also known as K2, Spice, incense and potpourri is an inexpensive and legal substance used to get high.

Melanie Maxwell I

At the age of 16, John Kleczynski of Ann Arbor said he started smoking K2 - a brand of synthetic marijuana - as a way to get high while he was on probation.

After eight months of smoking the substance - which is a blend of leafy herbs and spices sprayed with a synthetic chemical that gives a high similar to marijuana - Kleczynski said he quit the habit because he was anxious all the time, and his friends said he was acting weird.

That was in 2009. Kleczynski, now 18, said he has permanent anxiety and will never touch synthetic marijuana again.

Efforts to ban synthetic marijuana - commonly referred to as incense, herbal and potpourri - have been accelerating in Michigan. The drug also is known by brand names, of which K2 and Spice are the most common.

Washtenaw County Administrator Verna McDaniel said high-level county officials will be meeting Wednesday to develop an approach to address synthetic marijuana sales in the area.

Among those at the meeting will be the county prosecutor, sheriff and representatives from the health department, McDaniel said.

“I was really struck by how dangerous this stuff is,” McDaniel said. “I would like, at minimum, for our (Board of Commissioners) to support the legislation at the state level.”

McDaniel said local options will be discussed from public health codes to direct conversations with merchants.

High-profile cases in which crimes and possible deaths have been linked to K2 or Spice have brought the use of the drug to widespread attention in the state.

A package of bills is being fast-tracked through the Michigan legislature that would crack down on sales of synthetic marijuana.

In communities across the state, rallies are springing up against the sale of K2 and other synthetic marijuana brands.

Several counties in southeast Michigan already have moved forward in regulating the issue - including Macomb and Oakland. Wayne County officials could soon be following. Detroit Mayor Dave Bing issued an executive order Tuesday banning the sale of "K2" synthetic marijuana in the city.

West Bloomfield Township in Oakland County voted Monday night to ban the sale of K2 and bath salts.


Synthetic marijuana also known as K2, Spice, incense and potpourri for sale at Bongz and Thongz on East Liberty Street on Tuesday. The product sells for about $10 to $20.

Melanie Maxwell I

There are two smoke shops on East Liberty Street in Ann Arbor and two more five minutes down the block on State Street and on East William Street. Half sell synthetic marijuana, and another natural herb shop also carries a slew of brands, including K2.

Patti King, manager of 42 Degrees at 615 East William Street in Ann Arbor, said the smoke shop refuses to sell synthetic marijuana.

“We’ve always been really against it because it’s bad for you,” King said. “You should see the people that come in and ask for it - they’re cracked out.”

It’s not just smoke shops selling the stuff - brands of synthetic marijuana can be found in party stores and gas stations.

Chris, a 22-year-old Ann Arbor man who wouldn't give his last name, said he tried smoking K2 and it was “horrible.”

“It speeds up your heartbeat,” Chris said, describing how the high lasted about 20 to 25 minutes - but was so powerful he couldn’t stand up.

Chris said smoking the drug made him feel extremely paranoid and “messed-up” - a completely different experience than he said he had from smoking regular marijuana.

“The physical side effects are really disturbing,” said Therese Doud, substance abuse prevention coordinator at Washtenaw County Public Health.

Physical side effects from synthetic marijuana use include loss of control, seizures, hallucinations, vomiting and elevated heart rate and blood pressure.

“The paranoia that’s associated with K2 Spice is more like PCP than marijuana,” Doud said.

Calling it “synthetic marijuana” is misleading and makes it seem more acceptable than it really is, Doud said.

“I think it’s very important to note that public health is taking it very seriously,” said Jane George of Washtenaw County Public Health's Substance Abuse Prevention Team.


Synthetic marijuana also known as K2, Spice, incense and potpourri for sale at Bongz and Thongz on Tuesday.

Melanie Maxwell I

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration issued a six-month extension of its emergency scheduling authority March 1 of five chemicals that have been known to make synthetic marijuana.

The action makes possession and sale of the products with those five chemicals illegal - but the manufacturers of products like K2 have simply changed the chemicals.

The DEA is continuing to study whether it will permanently control the five chemicals.

Michigan is fast-tracking legislation which would constrict regulations on the sale of synthetic marijuana. The House Judiciary Committee unanimously approved two of the measures Tuesday.

One measure would broaden Michigan’s law that aims to prevent the sale of the substances. Rather than listing just certain synthetic drugs, the measure lists classifications of chemicals that could be used to make the drugs.

Another measure discussed Tuesday would allow a state agency to make emergency rules to classify certain substances as controlled substances in certain situations. The measure outlines procedures for public hearings and other steps that would be needed to craft the emergency rules, which could prevent some substances from being sold over the counter.

Law enforcement officers want more tools to crack down on synthetic drug sales, and that the state needs a broader, more inclusive list of banned chemical cocktails to stop drug makers from simply tweaking their products and selling them legally.

Amy Biolchini covers Washtenaw County, health and environmental issues for Reach her at (734) 623-2552, or on Twitter. contributed to this report.



Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 10:43 p.m.

Might as well ban alcohol while there at it.


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 3:43 p.m.

PROMOTION OF GOOD POSITIVE HEALTH : This news topic deserves consideration as a topic that pertains to health and well-being. In the past, I had served in the Armed Forces of India and Sultanate of Oman and promotion of positive good health was my primary objective. To promote health, we need to define that term and state the aspects of well-being that need to be preserved. The medical and health community members of Ann Arbor are ever silent on this issue and do not openly participate in any public discussion. It is a matter of utter shame to note that we live in a community where there are hundreds of students who study the problems of mental health and the problems that relate to use of chemical substances. How is that they have no courage to participate in an open discussion and share their understanding with readers? We are funding Public Universities that have no interest in the well-being of Public. Where are those Faculty Members and highly paid professionals who make a living because of these problems that afflict the Public? I would like to approach this problem by fighting the ignorance of man about his 'true', or 'real' nature. Man has to know his true-self. We need to promote the formation of well-integrated personalities and we need to begin at childhood. I speak about Spiritual Development and Self-Realization not in the context of reading Bible or attending Church regularly even while I draw inspiration reading Bible. I am more concerned about the practical application of Life Sciences to develop well-integrated human personalities that will be Stress-Resistant and would not succumb to the problems of Drug Addiction of any kind.


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 3:04 a.m.

I'm too am fed up with this Spice and K2 crap being referenced as "synthetic marijuana". These substances have just as much in common with elephant dung and ping pong balls as they do marijuana... Spice and K2 and all these things people are smoking are giving marijuana a bad name. They aren't even CLOSE to being related to synthetic marijuana, they contain no cannabinoids, and most are derived from molecular structures similar to amphetamine. There is a name for synthetic marijuana; there is Marinol and there is Cannabinol. Spice and K2 are toxic, they share ZERO chemical relationships with Cannabis or THC. Marijuana can be a miraculous medicine for those that need it... it should never be stigmatized by being compared to K2 / Spice / etc...

Albert Howard

Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 12:58 a.m.

Synthetic Marijuana: Ban it as fast as possible. Take a bite out of crime and bankrupt Ann Arbor 'Hash Bash' fame. Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and John Hieftje should be communicating.


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 9:58 p.m.

SPIRITUAL WELL-BEING : The use of these substances clearly demonstrates that man's physical well-being cannot be defended without defending his spiritual well-being. In this context, I define Spirituality as the potency that generates and contributes Peace, Harmony, and Tranquility in man's living experience. Man desires to find psychological satisfaction and mental contentment while he has the subjective experience called Life. Spiritualism is a functional relationship between man's body, mind, and soul and it brings unity and man becomes ONE and cannot be separated from his body, and mind. Such unity eliminates the mental cravings that are reflected in the behavior of individuals using chemical substances like K-2 and others.


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 8:59 p.m.

As with every other drug out there, widespread availability is not the problem. If you ban this chemical another will be on the market within 6mo that is basically the same thing or worse. There is always going to be a chemist who is 5 steps ahead of your local legislative body. Heck most first year Chem majors could tell you 5+ compounds that are not widely known, that will get you high. If K2 is banned, it will just be a new chemical that is sold and smoked. People should focus on treatment and quit worrying about exactly what their kids are using to get high. Drug use is almost always a symptom of greater problems in an individuals life. Parents should worry more about why their kid is smoking something to get high, not what they are smoking.


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 8:37 p.m.

The last time we "banned" K2 in Michigan, I told y'all this would happen. If any paid attention to WORLD news (yes there are other places out there) you would have listened to what happend in Europe as they have been fighting this stuff for years. A ban (Like we already did) just forces a change in one ingredient. You can't ban all bath salts - The only way out is for parents to inform children. if you haven't lied to them too much about other vices they may listen. The term "Synthetic Marijuana" comes from the first marketing of this crap. They used to run ads in High Times etc... Calling it this.


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 7:16 p.m.

What's the hold-up? Macomb and Oakland have moved forward, Detroit has banned it. Does Washtenaw always have to be among the last to do the right thing?

A Friend

Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 7:02 p.m.

Robert, more people posting here seem to want to see marijuana legalized, doesn't sound like prohibition to me... They just don't want this "junk" being sold under the guise of a "safe" legal recreational drug.... when it obviously isn't....

A Friend

Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 6:54 p.m.

A2James, I guess we mostly worry about the kids cuz as an adult you'd have to be a complete moron to do this stuff... :) And we can still bitch-slap an adult for stupidity, but not a kid.... I'm kidding of course... ;) But come on, this stuff is just junk..... People are going to keep making things out of Draino and try to tell us it's ok.... anything for a buck. We gotta just stay on top of it..... It's sad

Robert Granville

Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 6:48 p.m.

79% of voters believe banning/prohibition actually works. That's incredibly sad. This is a drug problem created by prohibition. More prohibition is the anti-solution.

Bill Wilson

Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 4:47 p.m.

@ Chase Ingersoll: If you truly believe in God, I'd wager that you'd agree that God gave man the ability that led to the creation of language and the ability to record language so mankind would know their true history. As such, we know that the true history of the stories from the Bible you enjoy citing (and, I'd add, in a manner suiting your arguments) is that all of these stories take their roots from far, far older stories and myths taken from the peoples of Sumer. The reasoning for the creation of these stories/myths goes something like this: mankind is wicked, so God punishes man by means of flood, famine, or fire. And while it's one thing for the peoples of that time to use methodology modern man finds laughable, it's odd to see someone like you employ methods such as these in this day and age. So, to paraphrase you, we cannot sue God, but we can sue Satan. So, those selling a product that is legal to buy and sell are the agents of Satan? And, we should allow the parents of those who purchased this product to sue the seller of the product? Of course, the child who purchased this product might not have purchased it if their parents had done a better job of instilling values in them. Is Satan responsible for this poor job of parenting? And what of, the innocent taxpayer? When the user collapses and our tax dollars pay for their transportation to the hospital, are we Satan's agent because we don't want to pick up the tab for these victims of poor parenting? The reality here is responsibility inheres within the individual, not by the nanny state, or some mythical and/or angry God.


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 4:33 p.m.

@JSS: I think you may have missed my point...which was the hypocrisy of the anti-drug movement, and blaming teenagers for products that are marketed, sold, and mostly used by adults. Not to mention the fact that these synthetic drugs are made because natural drugs such as marijuana are illegal, when marijuana is a much safer and relatively harmless drug. If marijuana were legal, I guarantee there would be no market for garbage such as K2 and Spice. And for the record, I absolutely do not condone K2, Spice, and bath salts, I remember first hearing about them a couple years ago and I'm shocked these things are still on the market. They need to be banned.


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 4:13 p.m.

@A2James: It's always easy to throw out admonishments about how others (parents, in this case) should do a better job. But aside from that, I think that you're missing the point that these substances have clearly been linked with violent - sometimes very violent - behavior. I'm sure you read some of the descriptions from users, above. You're also glossing over the fact that these products are clearly being sold under a deception. They're not "bath salts", or "spices", and you can be sure that the shop owners who pedal this stuff know that.

Elijah Shalis

Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 4:03 p.m.

People need some sort of drug for dealing with the fact that their wages and hours and benefits are so low these days and costs are so high.

Basic Bob

Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 3:10 a.m.

Dope will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no dope.


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 3:58 p.m.

This stuff, as with marijuana and all other drugs, is about getting high, nothing less. Is this what society needs? Are better off with it or without it? We have enough problems with alcohol abuse, but you can at least enjoy the taste of a beer or glass of wine without getting high and/or being physically impaired. For those that think this and other illegal drugs should be legalized, I guess you wouldn't care if your life is dependent upon a doctor, airline pilot, truck driver not using when performing their jobs. Scares the heck out of me.

Woman in Ypsilanti

Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 9:30 p.m.

Oh I know some people who are really into their marijuana in the same way a wine connoisseur is into wine. They have all different kinds and will go on and on about things like the taste. Also making a drug legal does not necessarily mean that doctors, airline pilots, truck drivers etc will be allowed to use while performing their jobs. I have a much less important job and I would probably be fired if I showed up drunk. Just like I would probably be fired if I showed up on some other drug.


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 3:55 p.m.

I find it ironic that there is a huge movement to ban K2 and similar items because "of the kids", when it is being used more by adults. This shows that parents need to worry more about their peers, and while they're at it maybe they could do a little proactive parenting and educate their kids instead of trying to ban every single item that may or may not harm them.


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 3:45 p.m.

To the author of this article, or to anyone able to answer on behalf of What is the possible justification for NOT naming the stores that sell this harmful product? Those store owners should be confronted and called out. It's clear that this product (which, I agree, is not marijuana - a point that should be made clear at every opportunity) is a serious health hazard.


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 5:03 p.m.

Calling out retail outlets for selling a legal product? If the product says "not for human consumption" ...? Are we going to highlight each and every pharmacy when someone has on overdose of a prescription medicine as if it is the pharmacies fault? We don't put Stadium Hardware up for public scrutiny every time some kid huffs paint or solvents, do we? The only reason I can think of to highlight the businesses is IF they are promoting K2 as a product meant for human consumption or as a way to get "high".

Woman in Ypsilanti

Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 4:46 p.m.

Yeah, how are people supposed to find this stuff to give it a try if you don't tell us where to buy it.

Paula Gardner

Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 3:53 p.m.

They'll be part of a story that we continue to report that focuses on retailers and their experiences with it. I expect it to be posted later this afternoon.

Basic Bob

Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 3:04 p.m.

A request to the media (not only Please don't call this stuff synthetic marijuana. It isn't even close. You don't call Vicodin or Oxycontin "synthetic opioids", which there clearly are. And why don't they call it synthetic *marihuana*?

Woman in Ypsilanti

Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 4:43 p.m.

FWIW. I don't know about Oxycontin but when I was prescribed Vicodin, my doctor called it a synthetic opioid. Mostly because that is what it is. Just like Marinol can be legitimately called "synthetic marijuana". That is because it really is that. K2, however, doesn't seem to be


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 2:54 p.m.

First off it is really sad that so many people feel the "need" to get high to escape thier lives. Very sad. for people complaining that this is being called "synthetic marijuana" by the media, it is being called that by non media too. It looks like pot, smokes like pot, so to kids it's just "like pot", however because it can be bought over the counter people think it is "safe". Why smoking chemicals seems appealing to anyone I don't know, or smoking anything for that matter. and because Bongz and Thongz was mentioned I will say this, first they can't sell dildos, so that went part of their sales plan, now if you take K2 out I bet their sales will plummet and we will be rid of this stupidly named store selling products that if in business should have been closer to south U and not liberty, I still don't see them renewing their lease.

A Friend

Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 2:53 p.m.

Here here "justsayin", I raise my glass of Crown Royal (not synthetic) to YOU! Ugh, seems like such a no-brainer to me... This stuff just sucks, it's a crappy "drug substitute" if you will, and a lame attempt at pacifying people who can't get pot or who want to pass a drug test and still get some sort of " high" going. People apparently don't even have fun on this stuff, it's all anxiety-provoking and weird.... people getting their faces eaten off... :) It's NOT pot, it's NOT related, it's just another bait and switch dumb substitute and gas stations are making like 10K a month selling it! People have been trying to get it pulled for a long time, so here's Joe Public's chance to get aware and all say "mmm yes - good idea" ...........


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 2:45 p.m.

I have green grass in my yard. The big house has artificial grass on the field. Where is the outcry about linking them together? They have no connection. Except that they look alike and share some of the same attributes.

Madeleine Borthwick

Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 2:41 p.m.

why, oh why, all the uproar over something that's been growing on the planet since Before Recorded History?! legalize it already!!!!!! stop arresting patients, my daughter happens to be one(4 back surgeries to date and this is the only thing that gives her relief, which is something Big Pharma does NOT want you to know about...hmmmmmm...). FREE THE WEED!!!


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 5:11 p.m.

Actually Madeleine the story is about K2 not weed. Did you read it at all? Yes pot should be legal, yes K2 should be illegal for the poison it really is

Michigan Man

Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 3:12 p.m.

MB - Yes, we all have free will. Go ahead and fry your brain smoking/injecting/snorting this crap!


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 2:55 p.m.

I didn't know that K2 has "been growing on the planet since Before Recorded History"


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 2:40 p.m.

For ALL those wanting to legalize it. WAKE up it is legal!

A Friend

Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 2:41 p.m.

only kinda..... :)


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 2:37 p.m.

of course the only action that makes any sense is to ban it permanently and prioritize prosecution of those that make and or sell it. However, a really logical first step for the media ( that's you would be to STOP calling this poison "synthetic marijuana" just because you smoke it. One can drink the stuff used in food warmers called Sterno and get drunk, side effects are are devastating and include one calls it "synthetic Crown Royal"...

Robert Granville

Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 6:47 p.m.

Why do you think that course of action makes sense? Has it ever worked before?


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 2:17 p.m.

If you bain this then all the sacrifice and suffering courageous men and women endure every year during the hash bash will be for nothing and their efforts will have been in vain for us all. I would like to take this time to give thanks to a hash bash person, our country and citiziens owe you so much for standing up for our rights to do drugs.


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 4:58 p.m.

Hash bash has little to nothing to do with K2.


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 2:05 p.m.

OUR KIDS ARE ALL ON THE DOPE!!1 I realize you gotta somewhat play to your large base of frightened home-bound elderly, but this web site is turning into The Daily Mail or the New York Post. First of all, K2 is in no way, shape, or form "synthetic marijuana." I don't even know what that phrase means in this context. Just because its manufacturers refer to it as such doesn't mean it is. Also, I don't doubt that it's bad for you - smoking anything is bad for you - but it would be nice to have, you know, facts from actual medical professionals rather than "county officials" and representatives of the addiction industry. Even the DEA's own report doesn't cite anything other than anecdotes and hearsay, and the "high-profile cases in which crimes and possible deaths have been linked to K2 or Spice" amount to a grand total of TWO, one of whom was a murder victim that had K2 in his system at the time of his death. Is the implication that he wouldn't have been murdered if he hadn't been using K2? Between this and the Ranzini editorial about heroin use, which featured several absolutely laughable untruths and outright lies, it's been a real banner week around here for drug-scare chicken littles.

A Friend

Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 2:02 p.m.

Chase - so suing people after the fact is your solution?? I don't get it., doesn't that seem like wasted time and money to you? Saving a human life isn't as important as recouping damages for the loss of it? Forgive me if I've misunderstood.... (?) As previously stated, I 'd like to take this time to thank God for creating and giving to us the natural plant, Cannabis. And two thumbs down for the apple of crack/spice that seems to have led these good-thinking humans astray..... :) I can only hope that young kids going into the gas-station who have never heard of "spice" aren't seduced by this very real bad-apple.......... Cuz it isn't simply about Darwin, its about your inexperienced kid being in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong people, with the wrong dumb ideas..... Yes, parents can teach a kid not to sniff glue, not to huff paint... guess we'll have to add this crap to the list.......... Except that I don't think there's any other good use for this product, unlike paint... so why can't we just get rid of it and get back to more productive issues that life has to offer?


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 2:23 p.m.

Not just suing people but also imaginary beings. There's a winning proposition ...


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 1:35 p.m.

How come cigarettes have not been banned yet? It causes more harm, does more damage, and costs more money than this "synthetic" marijuana does.


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 1:17 p.m.

Blue Marker, Just because something is "ingrained" in society doesn't make it right. Slavery was "ingrained" in society, but that didn't make it right. We now have government trying to ban the sale of large sodas, but cigarettes do far more harm to society than soda. Wonder why the government is so quiet on cigarettes? Gee I wonder....

Robert Granville

Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 6:51 p.m.

Blue Marker we should make heroin legal. It would cause society much less harm.


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 5:37 p.m.

BlueMarker, Drugs have been a part of society for ages - heck, coca cola started with real cocaine in it. Banning these drugs have done exactly the same thing that banning alcohol did during prohibition. You now have organized criminals making all of their profit around drug distribution, people sneaking around using drugs anyway (not actually taking it off the streets) and you have the law enforcement agencies spending a huge amount of time trying to enforce these silly laws. It's all too similar and that's what people fail to realize.

Blue Marker

Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 4:09 p.m.

@maallen, My point is cigarettes have been ingrained in our society for multiple generations, making them illegal would be far more difficult. This stuff is relatively new so lets get rid of it now while it's still possible. @ hail, Prohibition failed largely because it was trying to take something ingrained in society and make it illegal. People had been drinking alcohol since before the birth of Christ. This is not at all the same situation, at least I don't see a parallel.


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 3:22 p.m.

Blue Marker, "By that rational(e) we should make heroin legal." Can you please explain how what I wrote above makes a leap to "make heroin legal?" I am just asking a question that why haven't we banned cigarettes yet, but we are quick to ban this synthetic drug? Cigarettes have done far more damage than this synthetic drug. If we are going to ban this drug, shouldn't we ban cigarettes too?


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 3:13 p.m.

Blue Marker, if we're supposed to learn from our mistakes - what exactly have we learned from prohibition? Making something illegal does nothing to solve the problem. It actually causes more problems.

Blue Marker

Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 2:30 p.m.

By that rational we should make heroin legal. Your point on cigarettes is very valid but you're dealing with something that's been part of society for a long time. Sorry for the pun but let's nip this in the bud so to speak. You're supposed to learn from mistake, not repeat them.


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 1:31 p.m.

I just don't get the logic of making things like this illegal. 1. It doesn't get it off the streets 2. We spend billions of tax dollars fighting a losing battle to keep it off the streets 3. The drugs that do end up on the streets are now made from who knows where and are almost certainly more dangerous than the over the counter ones currently being sold. I've never once done an illegal drug but to me it just doesn't seem like a fight worth fighting. The money fighting it should go towards rehab programs and education to prevent people from using it. Make everything legal, tax the heck out of it and use that money for good. Obviously the same restrictions to tobacco and alcohol should apply. Honestly, if an adult wants to harm their body with all sorts of drugs who am I to tell them to stop?

Left is Right

Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 11:06 p.m.

It may resurface but it'll surely knock the heck out of the current business/distribution model.


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 6:48 p.m.

Ross, so getting it off the streets for a few months is a victory how exactly? If there's a demand for this product - someone will fill that demand.


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 6:01 p.m.

Making these drugs illegal ABSOLUTELY WILL get them off the streets. They are made and sold by large chemical engineering companies and distributed through common methods to public stores. There is no underground network ready to distribute this crap (yet).


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 5:32 p.m.

prohibition doesn't save lives or increase public safety. period. Banning this crap won't save lives, it will only create more exciting for the kids. Ooooh! It's even more enticing. they ban it, and it becomes more readily available on the back market. This is reactive legislating. Someone dies, everyone gets hysterical. I know hundreds of moms who have lost their kids to drug overdoses. It's the failed drug war that's to blame. the JUST SAY NO generation. Go ahead and tell you kids not to do something because its dangerous. Then, they smoke marijuana (like 80% of Americans) and learn they've been lied to, so they don't believe you at all. K2 must be ok, because they lied to us about marijuana--that it would make us psychotic and kill brain cells-- so why should we believe them at all? Humans have been altering their consciousness for thousands of years. I think if we were more honest with our kids about drugs, alcohol, tobacco, etc, and gave them honest education, they would be more more responsible. But Americans don't want to do that. they don't want to educate their kids about drug use because it's seen as promoting it. Bizarre and infuriating. Hell, it saves lives.


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 2:48 p.m.

Yes jcj, I realize this drug is legal. I'm talking about all drugs, not just this one. I'm saying making any drug illegal seems silly to me. It fixes nothing. Obviously we've learned nothing from prohibition.


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 2:39 p.m.

Do you NOT realize it has been legal and is legal in Ann Arbor now???


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 1:16 p.m.

So there's a crackdown on imitation marijuana that doesn't show up on drug tests and a rise of legalized marijuana that does show up on drug tests, you have to love the 21st century.

A Friend

Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 1:45 p.m.

Makes you want to just light some more tax-dollars on fire doesn't it? :)

Chase Ingersoll

Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 1:02 p.m.

Danai: As a follow up to my post and note to yours concerning harm, I think that my philosophy is consistent in that I believe that people who are harmed, or the parents of children who are harmed by the substance should be able to sue for damages those who manufacture and distribute substances injurious substances in a way that does not properly warn the consumer of the likely consequences. So accordingly, you can't sue God for manufacturing The Tree, because it's His property and he can make anything he wants and put it anywhere he wants. But you can sue Satan for damages as a result of "false advertising" because he claimed to Eve " shall not surely die, your eyes will be opened and you will be like God..." See, Libertarianism and Fundamentalism are in agreement when you understand and apply them correctly. Chase Ingersoll


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 12:58 p.m.

I dont know why all the heat on Bongz and Thongz they sell the stuff because it was labled legal by the State of Michigan.

Left is Right

Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 11:03 p.m.

Just because it's legal doesn't make it right. Just because it's illegal doesn't make it wrong.


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 12:34 p.m.

Sigh...I wish the media would stop calling this poison "synthetic pot". It is a synthetic drug that is not related to the cannabis family at all!!!


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 12:55 p.m.

Brilliant point. Why the media continues to call it that, I have no clue. Effects of the crap are completely unrelated to those effects from marijuana.

A Friend

Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 12:53 p.m.


Chase Ingersoll

Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 12:17 p.m.

The ironic result of prohibiting one substance is the slippery slope of having to prohibit every item from the market until it is "government approved". But the regulatory cost of doing this, and the dynamic it creates between individual participants in a market is in the long term an unsustainable burden or cost upon all of the legitimate products in the market. Call it Darwinism, but the market of behaviors is self selecting and self regulating and people who are genetically or by social influences drawn to behaviors that will harm them, will in the not so long run, self select themselves out of the gene pool. From a fundamental Christian perspective, I note that when God created the Garden of Eden, he did not locate the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in the outskirts or red light district of the Garden. He did not put a barbed wire fence around it. He did not post a guard. In fact, he allowed the most wise creature in the garden to promote The Tree. All God did was advise Adam and Eve of the consequences of eating of the tree. Accordingly, why do the supposed followers of fundamental Christianity, so often support totalitarian action to prevent evil, rather than simply doing as God did/does and notify the community of the natural consequences of behavior and then allow them to decide to whom they will listen and the consequences. As a Christian Fundamentalist, I appreciate that the right choices I make are not because I was simply a non-thinking-follower, but rather a rational-thinking objective observer of 1000's of years of recorded history and a lifetime of personal observation. But I can't personally observe, experience, err or repent for someone else. And nor should I prevent them from their God given right to experience for themselves. Chase Ingersoll

Basic Bob

Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 2:59 p.m.

A number of years ago, a heroin epidemic hit the Amish community in Ephrata, PA. This is not entirely shocking since they were a mere hour drive from Philadelphia. The church elders had never seen anything like it, except for alcohol, of course, with which they had plenty of experience. They quickly adjusted, and in their usual manner it did not require government intervention.

A Friend

Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 1:36 p.m.

Then I'd like to take this time to thank God for creating and giving to us the natural plant, Cannabis. Two thumbs down for the apple of crack/spice that seems to have led these good-thinking humans astray..... :) I can only hope that young kids going into the gas-station have never heard of "spice" and aren't seduced by this very real bad-apple.......... cuz it isn't simply about Darwin, its about your inexperienced kid being in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong people, with the wrong dumb ideas..... Yes, parents can teach a kid not to sniff glue, not to huff paint... guess we'll have to add this crap to the list.......... Except that I don't think there's any other good use for this product, unlike paint... so can't we just get rid of it and get back to more productive issues that life has to offer?


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 12:57 p.m.

Interesting indeed. I didn't realize the Garden of Eden had a red light district!

Craig Lounsbury

Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 12:25 p.m.

an interesting read.

Homeland Conspiracy

Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 11:59 a.m.

Just because it's smoked it's called synthetic "marijuana" but it's not marijuana not even close! Just legalize the really thing & this kind of stuff would just go away...& this is from a non pot smoker


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 2:37 p.m.

DAH! I HAS been legal for a few years and it did not "go away" Think about it!

A Friend

Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 1:03 p.m.

I don't smoke either and I'm in total agreement!

Lou Perry

Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 11:58 a.m.

With every other county in Southeast Michigan taking quick action to ban these products why does Washtenaw drag its feet? There is no need for discussion, just ban it. When Conan Smith got lambasted by county commissioners/administrators of the area about Washtenaw's participation in the region here is a perfect example of not being part of the area and for that matter doing the right thing. You cannot watch a local TV newscast that has made this the lead story and have gone further with roundtables, etc. Other counties have taken action; the template is in place. Washtenaw is going to have a meeting later in the week to discuss it.

Lou Perry

Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 7:25 p.m.

Folks, it's not marijuana. It looks like it and is not similar at all. People smoke it like a joint. It really is incense with a bunch of chemicals. It should never be ingested. If you read about kid's who have used it and parents of kids who lost their child using it you'd understand better.


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 2:36 p.m.

N. Todd I here there are homes available in San Francisco.

N. Todd

Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 2:09 p.m.

"There is no need for discussion, just ban it." = Irrational, a bit scary, and not a place I want to live.


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 12:41 p.m.

Mike...this is NOT marijuana


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 12:20 p.m.

We drag our feet because we have a pro marijuana culture. Why is that so difficult to wrap our heads around?


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 11:55 a.m.

Why is it referred to as synthetic marijuana when it has no relation to marijuana?


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 6:35 p.m.

grimmk Why is everyone so bent on becoming pot heads. It is not good for anyones life style. It makes you lazy and fat. I guess when it eventually becomes legal it will be easier to find jobs. Going up against a pot head for a job generally is not very tough.


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 5:58 p.m.

No, these designer chemicals were actually specifically synthesized in an attempt to find a replacement for THC (primary active element of marijuana).

Woman in Ypsilanti

Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 4:22 p.m.

I think it is also because the users of this drug seem to be using it as a substitute for marijuana. I've known people say that they were going to try it when they couldn't get the real stuff. I don't know if they ever did but there you go.


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 3:42 p.m.

Probably for those who want to ban pot. If they can make a connection to it and then say it's so bad, just like pot is! More people will be willing to have it banned too.

Craig Lounsbury

Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 11:36 a.m.

what I don't get is, to listen to the media you would think this stuff showed up last week. Why has it taken so long to figure out its as dangerous as portrayed? also I agree with others that this referral to "synthetic marijuana' is misleading. As near as I can figure every little package seems to say something about "not for human consumption".


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 2:50 p.m.

CL I do not like going to Kmart and having to show ID to buy a can of spray paint at 62 but if it will help cut down on kids huffing paint I am willing. I would be OK if they had the same requirements as buying booze.

Craig Lounsbury

Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 2:38 p.m.

jcj, my answer would be anyone who would openly consume either product despite the warnings should expect the physical/emotional consequences.


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 2:34 p.m.

They also put "warning"labels on cigarettes. If ANYONE thinks this "potpourri" is sold for that purpose then I would guess they are prolific " potpourri " buyers. wink wink

A Friend

Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 1:06 p.m.

Cuz acting out of good sense apparently takes a real long time.... and gas stations are making like 10K a month on this crap.....


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 12:55 p.m.

Craig you've raised an interesting question. I do remember reading a few articles about the stuff beginning a year (or so) ago, but nothing about the dangers. It is just in the past weeks that it has gotten a great deal of attention and alleged to be responsible for violent crimes.


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 12:35 p.m.

It probabl ywasnt disclosed because the government was making good money off of it. Can't bleed their well... But with the recent killings East of here and the accusation of K2 being used by the teens amongst other stories surfacing I think that's why the case is now budding (no pun intended)

A Friend

Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 11:36 a.m.

If you have young kids in their "risk-taking" years it's a worry,.... all drugs "trying to be marijuana" are a worry. So can we just ban that crap and get on with legalizing marijuana people??!! Some folks want an equivalent to our "1 or 2 drinks" and need a good clean plant, not all these crazy dangerous substitutes. People are not going to stop wanting to get "high", and aren't ever going to stop trying to find a way. We could cut out so much crime, create so many jobs, make it a non-issue...... makes sense. And before I get criticized on whether or not I should be concerned about (my) kids smoking marijuana, I will say that I don't condone it.... in fact, I'll act very much against it with mine, knowing full well that they'll probably try it at some point, but at least be relatively safe in doing so......


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 5:20 p.m.

You really need to understand the side effect of marijuana. It is NOT safe. Don't try to debate it either. The fact is your health will be better if you don't smoke pot. PERIOD!


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 11:29 a.m.

Here is a legal drug and people are committing crimes to get the money to pay for it. I thought the big argument for legalizing MJ was that it would make it cheaper and people would not have to steal to buy it.

Woman in Ypsilanti

Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 4:19 p.m.

@redwingshero I think people call it that because many of the people are using it as a substitute for marijuana. So although this drug doesn't seem to actually resemble marijuana in effects, the people who smoke it may think it does when they buy it. The irony here is that the illegal drug is actually pretty safe but the legal one isn't (assuming the negative effects aren't just a lot of hysterical hype). Ask any economist though. If you want to reduce the demand for fake marijuana, make real marijuana legal.


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 12:59 p.m.

People should stop referring to it as synthetic mariajuana or a marijuana substitute. Clearly, it is not.


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 12:36 p.m.

Buzz...this is not MJ, people are stealing to get this synthetic drug which bears NO relation to MJ.


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 11:47 a.m.

The main argument for legalizing pot is that people can grow it themselves without winding up in the slammer. Also, criminals commit crimes to get money for liquor and cigarettes. Both of those are legal.

Alan Goldsmith

Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 11:04 a.m.

So why is A2 dot COM afraid to print a list of stores selling this item with a list of the store owners and their addresses? "There are two smoke shops on East Liberty Street in Ann Arbor and two more five minutes down the block on State Street and on East William Street. Half sell synthetic marijuana, and another natural herb shop also carries a slew of brands, including K2."


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 11:04 a.m.

This is the same rhetoric we used to hear about marijuana. The "facts" the officers possess are wildly inaccurate and unverified. "I think it causes people to do crime" is horse plop - There is ABSOLUTELY NO SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE that this causes any harm. This is just more puritanical "Won't someone think of the children?". Ann Arbor is supposed to be progressive - this is that old-fashioned religion shining through on a moral panic. Disgusting.


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 2:29 p.m.

Spoken like a dedicated user. Next crutch please.


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 1:10 p.m.

Please supply links to studies that show the number of deaths caused by Marijuana. Good luck.


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 1:07 p.m.

I have someone I know that took this stuff put himself in the hospital. Don't tell me that it doesn't cause harm.

A Friend

Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 12:58 p.m.

Um, are you sniffing glue or something??? You haven't done your homework on this stuff have you.....


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 12:32 p.m.

Those who want to use will definitely find a way but to sell these people potpourri to smoke is ridiculous! Let them find their way without putting some harmful crap on the market! No scientific evidence that smoking potpourri sprayed with chemicals can make you delusional? That sounds insane in itself. These plants are not intended for the use of getting high. Let's all go spray down some basil with Raid! I'm sure that won't make us sick either!


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 12:18 p.m.

Those who use will find ways to justify almost anything................


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 11:35 a.m.

Um we are, kids are smoking potpurri to get high. As yes drugs cause crime, if an addict needs his fix and has no money then they steal to get their fix. Its unfortunate that we point fingers at the kids, when here we are again where are the parents. Society isnt going to take care of YOUR kid. Oh and camt get more scietific than death eh?