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  1. chillinwill
    It's sold as incense, but most people aren't lighting it for its smell. Many are smoking it to get a marijuana-like high. It's called mojo, or spice, and many other varieties are being sold all across the metro New Orleans area.

    But there are no regulations on it, and law enforcement has a warning for parents tonight about what people are calling "legal weed."

    So is it legal?

    “Weed, here in Louisiana anyway, it's illegal. My job, it requires drug testing. So, that's one reason I don’t any longer smoke weed,” said French Quarter tour guide and Internet videoblogger Casey Nunez.

    He admits, he's smoked plenty of marijuana, but now, he’s smoking mojo.

    “Very similar to the feel of marijuana when you're under the influence of it,” Nunez said.

    It's sold as incense at herb shops, also known as "Ra" or “head” shops. And Nunez said it's everywhere.

    “It's very evident in the French Quarter. You've got a lot of people walking down the street with their pipes smokin’ the mojo,” he said.
    There are different varieties of incense that people are smoking. Some are called "spice" or "spice gold". And it's so widespread in New Orleans that it's even sold at some convenience stores and gas stations.

    “I'd say it's readily available in the metropolitan area and on the Internet,” said New Orleans Police Department Deputy Superintendent of Narcotics, James Scott.

    And just about anyone can buy it. Some shops only sell to people over age 18, but others have no age restrictions.

    “It allows the children to become intoxicated in some cases, probably right under their parents' noses,” Scott said.

    Mojo creates a marijuana-like high, but it doesn't smell like marijuana. And apparently, it doesn't show up on standard drug tests.

    Nunez took a home test after smoking mojo. He sent us a picture of his negative result.

    “This will not show up on a field test kit because the field test kits test for THC,” said Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Jimmy Fox.

    Police and the DEA use field kits to test and see if drugs they find contain THC, the chemical in marijuana that federal law deems an illegal drug.

    Only detailed, DEA analysis has shown that a combination of three synthetic chemicals, including the compound jw8-018, is what gives smokers that marijuana-like high.

    The DEA has included that specific combination in their list of controlled substances, but only detailed chemical analysis in a lab will find that combination of chemicals. The field test kits don't.

    Spice in and of itself is a herbal. But what it makes it illegal is when these compounds, synthetically, have been used to include some of those ingredients that give that euphoria of THC,” Fox said.

    The problem even the DEA has is that manufacturers keep changing the chemicals used to mimic THC, and each combination would have to be both outlawed and traceable in order to enforce it.

    Under Louisiana law, that specific, synthetic THC combination is not illegal.

    Plus, packages for mojo and other "spice" products only say they contain a group of natural herbs. They also read, "not for human consumption."

    “It's not something that we could arrest them for. It creates a problem,” Scott said.

    Even Nunez will tell you, it packs a more powerful punch than most marijuana.

    According to Scott, the Crimestoppers drug hotline isn't getting a large number of calls about mojo. They’ve only received one from the North shore and one from the South shore in the past two years.

    However, owners of local “Ra” shops told Eyewitness news they are getting calls from parents wondering how their teens got their hands on it, and what exactly it is.

    “We're extremely concerned about it because what we've seen so far is that a lot of young adults are starting to experiment with it,” Fox said.

    The irony is, police say mojo is nearly twice the average street price for marijuana in the New Orleans area.

    “Very expensive,” Nunez said. WWL-TV Reporter Katie Moore asked, “People are paying it? Why?” Nunez replied, “Because it's that good. And it's legal. You're not doing something that you need to worry about incarceration or being fined or put in jail.”

    It's likely the same reason teens are trying it, and it's why police want to warn parents and employers that the jar of incense might be a way for people to get high.

    The state of Kansas just recently outlawed mojo or spice on January 1.

    It's already illegal in a handful of European countries.

    by Katie Moore
    February 15, 2010

    The video can be found at Herbal Incense New Way People Getting High


  1. Chochi
    The way I read this is that this news report states that the dea has included jwh-018 in its list of controlled substances. From all of my research on the web I have concluded that it is not controlled. In fact, dea only list it as a substance of concern. Can someone confirm this was a misprint, or poor research, or?
  2. Terrapinzflyer
    ^^ good catch. It is still uncontrolled in the sence that it is not explicitly scheduled at the federal level. It is a curious situation - one that may be causing them headaches with the medical potential (and profit potential for pharmaceutical companies) Considerring the FDA (and not the DEA) leading the raid in Kansas on a supplier it may be an indication of this being a bit of a political landmine.

    Strange days indeed...
  3. Arkero
    That quote makes it sound like euphoria is in itself illegal. Lots of little kids sometimes feel euphoric without anything just in the natural course of being alive. Should the euphoria police be called on them?
    this is exactly the issue they do not want people seeing out of the box they created it actually is way cheaper i just brought a ounce 28grams 280dollars of illegal in weight but the ounce i brought was herbal incense and a nice brand iblown and each gram lasts longer because it gets you higher quicker. They want people in the poor areas to waste all their hard earned money weed which is way weaker weed is a medicine not soo much a get high drug. Because you have to smoke way more of the weed to get high and it causes people to become enslaved to the weed dealers who are ultimately run the government supplying them and they can put whatever in the weed they want and you will never know at least you know what's in your herbal incense. They do not want the regular people to be able to relax and meditate weed also knocked out consciousness and stops all brain activity and higher thinking and only keeps the optical lobes going this is why most weed smokers love video games. It makes them loose their ability to control their destiny it takes out their intention power in the frontal lobe. It only activates half the receptor thusly the brain shuts down because it can not tune into it that is why weed smokers are paranoid and lazy sometimes. It is a medicine and for producing things like paper and cars not to get really high. They do not like herbal incense because it activates that whole receptor resulting in a fully tuned in mind it can understand the message with the whole picture. They do not want you guys having a fully active mind and consciousness when i smoked it the first time i became one with the universe no joke i could talk to the sun. It tunes you in you can control the high that is why it is soo popular those who of the agenda will deny these facts till they go to the hell they crawled out of. Did you know that the zombie in florida that ate that mans face was not on bath salts but he was weed. Most of the zombies where on weed and they where screming go away jesus or they thought they where jesus lets you know that jesus christ is real and the zombies fear him and that herbal incense is way safer lol. Like i said weed blocks your brains communication and consciousness thusly creating a zombie after time. Over all they hate any thing that will safely get you high all the negative effects claimed about herbal incense are caused by people smoking way too much of it and burning out their receptors and nutrition and melatonin etc. Those with a weak mind or heart should not take it just like viagra. The only guy that died from it had history of panic attacks and guess what he died from a panic attack while smoking it hmmm. His mom almost died from a panic attack just talking about it it is in his dna to be like that not herbal incenses fault.
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