Apr 1, 2010 12:08 AM by Monica Quintero
It seems to be the latest craze for those seeking a high and there's a lot of confusion over whether or not it's legal in California. The most popular name for the leafy substance is K2. It's sprayed with a synthetic compound chemically similar to THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. It's smoked just like the real deal. According to the Department of Justice, it is illegal.
K2 is also sometimes called "spice," genie," or "pulse." Kim Kaufman is a drug counselor for San Luis Obispo County Drug and Alcohol. She said, "We still don't know that much about it." But we do know a form of K2 is being sold here on the Central Coast. We found it at the Grover Beach Smoke Shop. It was sold as incense and came with a price tag of around $24. An employee at the store wouldn't go on camera but said it's legal to anyone who's of legal age.
Kaufman said, "We know that it's being sold as incense and that people tend to smoke it like marijuana." She went on to say, "I would say before you take anything into your body you've got to be concerned about the health risks your exposing yourself to. We don't know what's in this substance, we don't know what the effects are long term or short term even on your physical health."
Rob Bryn is the spokesperson for the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's department. He said, "Our narcotics unit is aware of it. They recognize it looks like potpourri but it's essentially under the equivalent statue of health and safety code which makes it illegal to possess, sell or ingest."
It seems more people are experimenting with the substance that's clearly labeled "not for human consumption." As we mentioned, the smoke shop in Grover Beach said they will not sell the product to minors. However, the store did not ask the person we sent in to buy K2 for any identification.
San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Deputies said they have not yet seen any cases of K2 in the county but are aware it is out there.
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