Some marijuana users have seized on an obscure but easily accessible substance that mimics the drug’s effects on the brain, creating a popular trade in legal dope that has stymied law enforcement authorities, reports the Associated Press. People are buying a product known as K2 – or “Spice,” Genie” and “Zohai” – that is commonly sold in head shops as incense.
Produced in China and Korea, the mixture of herbs and spices is sprayed with a synthetic compound chemically similar to THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Users roll it up in joints or inhale it from pipes. Though banned in most of Europe, K2’s key ingredients are not regulated in the U.S. – a gap that has prompted Missouri and Kansas politicians to consider legislation. “This isn’t Jerry Garcia’s marijuana,” said Missouri Rep. Jeff Roorda. “They’ve used chemicals to avoid creating something that’s already illegal.”