As reported by yourChampionsnews on Nov. 24th, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, a division of the U.S. Department of Justice, announced an emergency scheduling to make the increasingly popular herbal smoke, ‘fake pot'-known for producing a synthetic marijuana high-illegal.
DEA officials at the time said their intent was to temporarily control five of the identified synthetic cannabinoid chemical in fake pot products. These cannabinoid chemical were listed as JWH-018, JWH-073, JWH-200, CP-47,497, and cannabicyclohexanol.
DEA Officials said they intended to have each of these chemicals categorized under a Schedule I substance through the Controlled Substance Act.
Officials explained that the temporary ban of fake pot, or Spice-type smoking blends, is planned for 12 months, time in which the DEA and other regulatory offices plan to study what effects fake pot may have on human health.
The DEA published a Notice of Intent, an order providing a thirty day grace period for distributors to get rid of their supply.
However, Wendell Campbell, spokesperson for the Houston DEA office, said some confusion has emerged regarding whether or not fake pot is illegal given that the thirty day Notice of Intent period has passed.
"No," Campbell said. "The thirty day Notice of Intent expiring does not mean the substance is now illegal."
Still, Campbell said DEA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. are working toward the Final Order expected to be published very soon in the Federal Register, the government's official nexus for public notification.
Barbara Carreno, spokesperson for the Washington, D.C. office said it is not yet clear when the order will be finalized. Although, she cautioned distributors and buyers to check the Federal Register postings daily.
"The law requires us to give the public at least thirty days notice before we take any scheduling action," Carreno said. "So we gave the public the thirty day heads up, and anytime now the Final Order could be published."
Carreno said the DEA is working diligently to push the temporary ban on fake pot because they continue to receive numerous reports from poison control and healthcare facilities on severe health related issues from smoking various fake pot blends, i.e. Spice, K2, Kush.
"We haven't been able to fully study this substance," Carreno said. "Some of the chemicals we know were used in animal testing, but what we don't know is the impact these chemicals may have on human health."
Carreno said, for these reasons, the DEA has made the initiative to temporarily ban fake pot a priority.
For more information, go to DEA's website. Currently, on the DEA's "in focus" section, fake pot is listed in the top position.
by James Ridgway, Jr.
JAMES RIDGWAY,Jr is a reporter and photographer for the Northwest Houston Sun Newspapers
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