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'Fake' pot possession and sales banned by DEA

March 01, 2011|By Mary Forgione, Tribune Health

Sales and possession of Spice, Blaze and other "fake" marijuana products were outlawed for at least a year Tuesday by a federal agency that expressed concern about teens being harmed by smoking such products, according to an announcement.

The Drug Enforcement Administration took aim at the products said to create a marijuana-like high. It used its emergency authority to ban five chemicals in such products: JWH-018, JWH-073, JWH-200, CP-47,497 and cannabicyclohexano.

"These products consist of plant material that has been coated with research chemicals that claim to mimic THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, and are sold at a variety of retail outlets, in head shops, and over the Internet," the DEA announcement says. "These chemicals, however, have not been approved by the FDA for human consumption, and there is no oversight of the manufacturing process."

In the release, the agency says it acted because of an increase in young people winding up in emergency rooms after using the products. The DEA said side effects of using "fake" pot include "convulsions, anxiety attacks, dangerously elevated heart rates, increased blood pressure, vomiting and disorientation."

The ban could be extended an additional six months.

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