By Allan Lengel
The DEA is continuing to go after “fake pot.”
The agency announced earlier this week on its website that it was
extending by six months a ban on five chemicals used to make fake pot,
which have been sold at retail outlets and head shops.
The ban, under the DEA’s emergency scheduling authority, makes it
illegal to possess or or sell the products.
The initial temporary ban began a year ago. The DEA is moving toward
making the ban permanent.
“We continue to address the problems of synthetic drug manufacturing,
trafficking, and abuse. Our efforts have clearly shown that these
chemicals present an imminent threat to public safety,” said DEA
Administrator Michele M. Leonhart in a statement. “This six month
extension is critical and gives us the time necessary to conduct the
administrative scheduling process for permanent control.”
The DEA said the smokeable herbal products marketed as being “legal”
have become increasingly popular, particularly among teens and young
adults. The DEA said the products consist of plant material that has
been coated with research chemicals that claim to mimic THC, the active
ingredient in marijuana.
The DEA said it has received an increased number of reports from
poison control centers, hospitals and law enforcement regarding these
products since 2009.