The Drug Enforcement Administration used its emergency authority to control five chemicals used to make “fake pot” products. The action, announced today, makes possessing and selling these chemicals or the products that contain them illegal for at least one year while the DEA and the Department of Health and Human Services study whether the chemicals and products should be permanently controlled.
DEA said that over the past year, smokable herbal blends marketed as being “legal” and providing a marijuana-like high, have become increasingly popular, particularly among teens and young adults. These products consist of plant material that has been coated with research chemicals that mimic THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, and are sold in retail outlets, in head shops and over the Internet. The chemicals have not been approved by the FDA for human consumption and there is no oversight of the manufacturing process. Brands such as “Spice,” “K2,” “Blaze,” and “Red X Dawn” are labeled as incense to mask their intended purpose. DEA has received an increasing number of reports from poison centers, hospitals, and law enforcement about these products. Fifteen states have already taken action to control one or more of these chemicals.