loophole to sell synthetic drug

Teens are smoking a legal incense to get a marijuana-like high. 

If that sounds familiar, you’re right.

State lawmakers have already outlawed synthetic drugs likeK2 and Spice, but manufacturers are finding loopholes, and then selling it to local teens.

Business owners around Outer Zone say the people going to get their hands on the special incense are scaring away their customers. 

“They are very loud and obnoxious people. You can hear them all over the parking lot when they get their new shipment in,” said one man who didn’t want to be identified but works in the shopping plaza. 

He sent FOX23 pictures of the line wrapping around the building of teens and young adults trying to get their hands on what police are calling synthetic marijuana.

“It looks like marijuana. It gets them really high. They say it’s the best high they can get,” said Dwight Martin, who lives across the street from the shopping center.

He’s been watching people line up for the special incense for several weeks.

“They’ll smoke it to get high,” Martin told FOX23.

Investigators say users of mean green and similar products just don’t know what the chemicals will do.

“We’ve had people with seizures; we’ve had people with sweats, convulsions. It’s almost like a methamphetamine effect on people,” said Cherokee Co. Sheriff’s Dept. investigator Nate King.

He’s has been investigating four Tahlequah businesses selling the incense. King told us an officer seized 65 of these wrappers of the “fake pot” from a 14-year-old. He knows the drugs are in teen’s hands and wants them to know what it can do.

“Two 13 year-old kids light this stuff up for the first time, one of them might be able to go to school and function fine the other one is laying unconscious on the bathroom floor,” King said.
He adds manufacturers get around federal regulation by changing the chemicals but in the end King says people are still getting high but taking some very dangerous risks to do it.

He says things could change in a few weeks because House Bill 2166 goes into effect November 1st.

The investigator says it will give a broader definition to drugs like K2

Spice forum in Hoover

HOOVER, Ala (WIAT) – Spice was taken off the streets and made illegal in 2011. But just because it’s no longer legal doesn’t mean it’s gone.

That was the topic at a forum at Simmons Middle School in Hoover Tuesday night. Lt. Mike Reese, an investigator with the Alabama ABC Board, says since the criminalization of the drug it’s gone underground like all other illicit narcotics.

But this isn’t just a law enforcement problem. For some it’s a life and death issue. Steve Murphree’s son Brandon killed himself July 3, 2011. Murphree says it was the hallucinations caused by the drug that drove his son to shoot himself.

The dangers have been made clear, so what is the draw. What is it that makes Spice attractive. One former user says it’s the high. 17 year old Zachary Higginbotham says it’s a very different high than marijuana – something similar to the high from using inhalants.

Many drugs remain legal after ‘bath salts’ ban

People are inventing so many new, legal ways to get high that lawmakers can’t seem to keep up.


Over the past two years, the U.S. has seen a surge in the use of synthetic drugs made of legal chemicals that mimic the dangerous effects of cocaine, amphetamines and other illegal stimulants.


The drugs are often sold at small, independent stores in misleading packaging that suggests common household items like bath salts, incense and plant food. But the substances inside are powerful, mind-altering drugs that have been linked to bizarre and violent behavior across the country. Law enforcement officials refer to the drugs collectively as “bath salts,” though they have nothing in common with the fragrant toiletries used to moisturize skin.


President Barack Obama signed a bill into law earlier this month that bans the sale, production and possession of more than two dozen of the most common bath salt drugs. But health professionals say that there are so many different varieties of the drugs that U.S. lawmakers are merely playing catch up.


“The moment you start to regulate one of them, they’ll come out with a variant that sometimes is even more potent,” said Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.


There are no back alleys or crack houses in America’s latest drug epidemic.


The problem involves potent substances that amateur chemists make, package and sell in stores under brands like “Ivory Wave,” “Vanilla Sky” and “Bliss” for as little as $15. Emergencies related to the drugs have surged: The American Association of Poison Control Centers received more than 6,100 calls about bath salt drugs in 2011 — up from just 304 the year before — and more than 1,700 calls in the first half of 2012.


The problem for lawmakers is that it’s difficult to crack down on the drugs. U.S. laws prohibit the sale or possession of all substances that mimic illegal drugs, but only if federal prosecutors can show that they are intended for human use. People who make bath salts and similar drugs work around this by printing “not for human consumption” on virtually every packet.


Barbara Carreno, a spokeswoman for the Drug Enforcement Agency, said the intended use for bath salts is clear.


“Everyone knows these are drugs to get high, including the sellers,” she said.


Many states have banned some of the most common bath salts, which are typically sold by small businesses like convenience stores, tobacco shops and adult book stores. For instance, West Virginia legislators banned the bath salt drug MDPV last year, making it a misdemeanor to sell, buy or possess the synthetic drug. Conviction means up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.


Stephanie Mitchell, assistant manager of The Den, a tobacco and paraphernalia shop in Morgantown, W.Va., said the store hasn’t sold bath salts in the six months that she’s worked there. But strung-out users still come in and ask for them.


“They’re pretty … cracked out, I guess would be a good word,” said Mitchell, 21, a student at West Virginia University. “They’re just kind of not all there. They’re kind of sketchy people.”


Mitchell says she wouldn’t sell bath salts even if she had them, “because it’s horrible, and I could get in trouble for it.”


Despite the bans, bath salts producers are constantly tweaking their recipes to come up with new drugs that aren’t covered by local laws. In fact, Mark Ryan, director of the Louisiana Poison Center, says there are so many different drugs out there that it’s almost impossible to know what people have ingested, or how long the effects will last.


“Cocaine is cocaine and meth is meth. We know what these things do,” he said. “But with these new drugs, every time the chemist alters the chemical structure, all bets are off.”




The spread


The most common bath salt drugs, like MDPV and mephedrone, were first developed in pharmaceutical research laboratories, though they were never approved for medical use. During the last decade they became popular as party drugs at European raves and dance clubs. As law enforcement began cracking down on the problem there, the drugs spread across the Atlantic Ocean.


Poison control centers in the U.S. began tracking use of the drugs in 2010. The majority of the early reports of drug use were clustered in southern states like Louisiana, Tennessee and Kentucky. But the problem soon spread across the country.


The financial lure for small-time drugmakers is enticing. The drugs can be cheaply imported from China or India, and then easily packaged under local brands. For example, bath salts sold in Louisiana carry regional names like “Hurricane Charlie” or “Bayou.”


The widespread availability of the drugs in stores is equally alluring for drug users: they can get a cheap high similar to that of illegal drugs by walking to a corner store.


The most dangerous synthetic drugs are stimulants that affect levels of both dopamine and serotonin, brain chemicals that affect mood and perception. Users, who typically smoke or snort the powder-based drugs, may experience a surge in energy, fever and delusions of invincibility.


Use of these drugs has spread across the country with reports stretching from Maine to California. There are no official federal estimates on deaths connected with the drugs, many of which do not show up on typical drug tests. But police reports have implicated the drugs in several cases.


Packets of “Lady Bubbles” bath salts, for instance, were found on Sgt. David Franklyn Stewart last April after the solider shot and killed his wife and himself during a car chase with law enforcement near Olympia, Wash.


The chase began when Stewart sped past a police patrol car at 6 a.m. The police trooper pursued for 10 miles and reported seeing the driver raise a hand to his head, then heard a shot and saw the driver slump over. The next day police found the couple’s 5-year-old son dead in their home; he had been suffocated with a plastic bag at least 24 hours earlier.


Another death involving bath salts played out in Covington, La. Police reported that Dickie Sanders, 21, shot himself in the head Nov. 11, 2010 while his parents were asleep.


His father, Dr. Richard Sanders, said his son had snorted “Cloud 9” bath salts and endured three days of intermittent delirium, at one point attempting to cut his own throat. As he continued to have visions, his physician father tried to calm him. But the elder Sanders said that as he slept, his son went into another room and shot himself.




What’s ahead


Hospital emergency rooms, doctors and law enforcement agencies across the country have struggled to control bath salt drug users who often are feverish and paranoid that they are being attacked. Doctors say users often turn up naked because bath salts raise their body temperature so much that they strip off their clothing.


Cookeville Regional Medical Center in Tennessee has treated 160 people suspected of taking bath salts since 2010. Dr. Sullivan Smith, who works there, said people on the drugs become combative, and it can take four or five health professionals to subdue them.


In some cases, he said, doctors have to use prescription sedatives that are typically reserved for surgery.


Smith recalls one man who had been running for more than 24 hours because he believed the devil was chasing him with an ax. By the time police brought him to the hospital, he was dehydrated and covered in blood from running through thorny underbrush.


“We’re seeing extreme agitation, hallucinations that are very vivid, paranoia and some really violent behavior, so it’s a real crisis for us,” Smith said.


“We sedate the living daylights out of them.


“And we’re talking doses on the order of 10 or 20 times what you would give for a painful procedure,” Smith said.


To control the spread of the problem, the Drug Enforcement Agency issued a temporary ban in October on three of the most common drugs — mephedrone, methylone and MDPV. That ban became permanent under the bill signed by Obama on July 10.

Spice: Not Just Phony Weed

Drug agents say the descriptor of “synthetic marijuana” is no longer sufficient in a culture of ever-evolving analog drugs like Spice.

“It’s much more along the lines of an LSD type of drug, a hallucinogenic,” says Madison-Morgan Counterdrug Team member Sergeant Dewayne McCarver, “Very dangerous, it’s nothing like marijuana.”

Deborah Soule, executive director of Huntsville’s Partnership for a Drug-free Community says she has seen the evolution as well. Soule says the flashy, colorful packaging markets straight to young people and says parental involvement is paramount.

You’ve heard of Joe Camel?,” asks Soule, “he seduced kids with tobacco, it’s the same thing happening all over again and kids are seduced by the color the creativity and they really believe its harmless. Kids think they are infallible and that nothing is ever going to happen to them and that’s why it’s so important to have discipline and guidance from the family.”

Drug agents are cracking down hard on spice following recent legislation that stipulated more chemicals as illegal, but Soule says it’s so serious, if parents turn a blind eye to the chemical poisons, they may well be planning a funeral.

“Kids just don’t understand the power of addiction!”

The DEA calls Spice a “potent poison” and drug agent compare the synthetic drug as being one chemical away from the ingredients in insect spray.

Synthetic drugs spreading rapidly across North Dakota

The first person who caught my eye when I entered Discontent skateboarding shop was a young boy, not more than 12 years old, standing on a wooden platform with an unstrapped helmet covering most of his dark, shaggy hair and a skateboard resting vertically at his side. Nearby, three teenagers with looks of extreme indifference on their faces fingered through CDs stacked on a small rack next to a skateboarding ramp. Then I noticed two women lingering near the back of the store with their hands in their jacket pockets waiting for a chance to get high.

The women, both appearing to be in their mid-30s, didn’t have to wait long. Within a few minutes, a man working behind the counter stepped away from the cash register and led them to a doorway with a chain hanging from one side to the other. He unhinged the chain, asked for their IDs and led them into a back room lined with mostly empty glass display cases.

(Photo by Matt Bunk) Herbal incense such as White Rabbit and New Dimension can be purchased in Bismarck, despite warnings by medical professionals and law enforcement leaders who say the effects of ingesting the chemicals on synthetic drugs can cause health problems and even death.

The women obviously knew what they wanted. They walked past two display cases, barely noticing the contents: a meager assortment of blown-glass pipes and small, metal objects shaped like cigarettes. Instead, they stopped in front of a case that contained several colorful packages labeled “New Dimension” and “White Rabbit.”

“One gram of the New Dimension,” one of the women said without looking up.

“That’s 20 bucks,” the employee said. “Or you can get three grams for $50.”

The woman shook her head, still looking down at the display case, before following the man to the counter to pay.

After the transaction, I followed the women out of the back room, past several racks holding an assortment of t-shirts, shoes and skateboards and, finally, past the young boy who was skidding down the skateboarding ramp to our left. When the door closed behind us, the women scurried along the sidewalk until they reached a car parked on the corner of Main Avenue an Fifth Street. Before they got in, I introduced myself and asked the woman what they bought.

“Herbal incense,” she said.

OK, but why would anyone pay $20 for a gram of incense?

“It gets you high,” she said. “And it’s not illegal.”

The New World of Synthetic Drugs

The synthetic drug market has exploded during the past four years, leading to many different chemical compounds and product names such as K2, Bliss, Tranquility, Spice, Wet and Wild and Eight Ballz. These new drugs are often sold as innocuous products such as herbal incense and bath salts and packaged with a label that warns against human consumption, but if ingested they mimic the effects of marijuana, LSD, ecstasy, cocaine and other controlled substances.

The packaging is also deceptive. Many of the products come in brightly colored wrappers that appear harmless.

“The packaging almost looks like candy wrappers,” said Hope Olson, director of the North Dakota Crime Lab. “It looks like something for kids.”

Merchants sell synthetic drugs online, and they can be found on the shelves of smoke shops, record stores and other retail establishments. Rogue chemists manufacture them in basements and warehouses across the U.S. and abroad. And for several years, the industry was allowed to grow without interference from law enforcement.

But using these new synthetic drugs has proven dangerous and potentially lethal, and state and federal lawmakers are scrambling to enact new laws to ban the chemicals used to manufacture them.

News reports from across the country tell horrific stories: In Mississippi, it took six men to restrain a man high on bath salts who had shot and killed a sheriff’s deputy; an 18-year-old Michigan resident was found dead along the shore of Wing Lake after smoking herbal incense; and two teenagers died and several more were hospitalized after a house party in Oklahoma where they ingested a synthetic drug that was purchased on the Internet.

The mayhem is spreading across North Dakota as well, according to medical professionals and law enforcement leaders.

Statistics compiled by the state Attorney General’s Office show the use of synthetic drugs has increased rapidly during the past two years. In 2010, for instance, law enforcement officers submitted 216 samples of synthetic cannabinoids (herbal incense) and synthetic cathinones (bath salts) to the state crime lab for analysis. A year later, that number had grown to 1,225 samples, outpacing the number of methamphetamine samples and second only to the number of marijuana samples.

North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said those numbers indicate a “brand new wave” of synthetic drugs are hitting the streets. “Law enforcement and the medical community are scrambling to get ahead of the curve on this,” he said. “It’s a very dangerous trend.”

A Looming Public Health Crisis

Doctors across North Dakota said they’ve treated patients with symptoms including extreme nausea, hallucinations, voices in their heads and seizures as a result of using synthetic drugs. One patient “sloughed off” an arm after injecting a synthetic drug, and another patient who smoked herbal incense stopped breathing and had to be kept on a respirator until the drug burned out of his system.

Rob Howard, a doctor in Williston who owns Advanced Drug Testing Inc., said synthetic drugs represent a looming public health crisis because there is no legitimate way to research the long-term effects of human consumption. Even the short-term effects are too dangerous for reputable scientists to conduct human studies, he said.

“One of side effects is chemically induced psychosis,” he said. “In other words, people start hearing things and seeing things that aren’t there. One individual we were testing was in here, and I asked him if they had stopped yet, and he said ‘Have what stopped?’ And I said ‘The voices.’ And his head snapped up and said ‘How did you know?’ This was about three weeks after he stopped using.”

Dr. Paul Grooms, who works in the emergency room at Medcenter One, said synthetic drugs such as herbal incense and bath salts are extremely dangerous because they usually contain a cocktail of different chemicals that could include anything from rat poison to fertilizer. He said cases involving synthetic drug use are difficult to treat because there are so many different chemical compounds used to manufacture them and patients usually have no idea what they ingested.

“Even very small amounts can have adverse effects,” Grooms said. “There’s no antidote for these things because so little is known about them. All we can do is treat the symptoms.”

In some cases, it’s too late for doctors to do anything. Last month, two teenagers from the Grand Forks area died after taking synthetic drugs. Seventeen-year old Elijah Stai of Park Rapids, Minn., and 18-year old Christian Bjerk of Grand Forks died within days of each other after taking a synthetic hallucinogen in the form of a white powder.

Federal and state law enforcement agencies launched an investigation into the deaths of the two teenagers and, within days, issued a warning to the public that noted “there may be a large quantity of lethal synthetic drugs on the street right now in the North Dakota/Minnesota market.”

So far, two men have been charged with crimes in connection with the distribution of the synthetic drugs that killed the teenagers.

Staying Ahead of Law Enforcement

The proliferation of synthetic drugs has confounded law enforcement agencies and policymakers ever since the first marijuana imitations reached the market about five years ago. So far, the industry has managed to stay one step ahead of each new law intended to stop it from spreading.

State legislatures in more than 40 states have passed various laws to ban the sale and possession of the chemical compounds used to make the new drugs, and Congress recently outlawed 26 chemicals known to be used for manufacturing K2 and Spice. But each time a law is passed, the synthetic drug industry develops a new formula and releases the product on the streets.

“The law enforcement community is constrained by statute. The law has to prescribe what is prohibited,” Stenehjem said. “And the big problem for us is that there are any number of bathroom chemists out there who are tweaking the chemicals to come up with a different substance. These are people who just throw stuff together and sell it to people. These drugs aren’t manufactured in controlled settings.”

The North Dakota Legislature originally attacked the problem by banning the chemical compounds used to make specific types of synthetic drugs. But the industry was able to stay one step ahead by making slight molecular changes to the products. So, state lawmakers tried a different approach last year by banning the core structure of the chemicals so that any offshoots, or “chemical cousins,” would also be illegal.

But the problem is far from solved, said Charlene Schweitzer, a forensic scientist at the North Dakota Crime Lab.

“We defined the core structure of these groups and, if you look at the statute, basically made hundreds of compounds illegal,” she said. “But now the problem is there are new groups of compounds that we have yet to define. The chemistry changes so fast with these things. Every week, we’re seeing a new compound.”

Howard, the doctor in Williston, said his drug-testing company recently spent about $300,000 on equipment that can be adjusted to detect new chemical compounds that hit the market. But detecting synthetic drugs and stopping them from reaching the public are two completely different challenges, he said.

“By changing the molecular structure in just one position on the chain, you can come up with 10,000 different chemicals that have the same active backbone. And if you change two or more positions, you could create millions of different chemicals,” he said. “That’s what’s going to make this so difficult.”

-Matt Bunk is publisher of the Great Plains Examiner.

Mad Hatter Strawberry Cloud 9 Herbal Potpourri Review

2 for $25 Mad Hatter Strawberry Cloud 9 Herbal Potpourri (3 grams ea.)

Cloud 9 Mad Hatter Strawberry is a blend of Damiana w/ strawberry scent having strength of 5 and
packaged in a 3 gram bag.
One of the most important things that you should do is to make sure that your house smells good. There
is no doubt that a house that looks so beautiful will lose all its value in a matter of seconds if it doesn’t
smell good.
So, you should pay attention towards the internal climate of your house to make it peaceful
not only for you but for your family and your guests as well. The Mad Hatter Strawberry Cloud 9 is one
the best potpourri products that you can use to improve the internal smell of your house. If you want then
you can use any other kind of fragrance material like room sprays for the house but we all know that
these products have their effects only for a few hours. After those few hours, you will not be able to smell
that fragrance unless you spray your house again. However, if you are going for herbal incense then you
don’t need to worry about the smell to come back again. All you need to do is to buy the herbal incense
and start using it in your house. It doesn’t matter that how much time, you spend out of your house,
whenever you will get back, you will find your house filled with great smell that can capture the attention
of anyone.
This cannot happen without using herbal incense or potpourri because if you will use chemical products,
instead of getting good results, you might start feel sick over the passage of time. There is no doubt that
many of the products that are made to adjust the internal climate of house are prepared with different
chemicals. These chemicals are totally different from herbal incense products and of course, there are
side effects of these products as well. Keeping all these things in mind, one should make sure that he is
buying herbal incense potpourri in order to adjust the internal climate of his home. The process of buying
potpourri and herbal incense like Mad Hatter Strawberry Cloud 9 is very simple as all you need to do is to
place an order here and get the potpourri delivered to your house. What do you need more when you can
buy 2 packages in just $25? So, instead of wasting your time you should place your order now to get the
package delivered to your house in next few days.

Hitting A Larger Fan Base Of Herbal Incense Smokers

We started this blog like many blogs with a goal.  We wanted to be the largest herbal incense review site with real reviews by the people that smoke this stuff daily.  Most of all we wanted to share our experience with fellow smokers all over the world and get there input.   Honestly shopping online for any product is amazing and yet scary at times.

How do you know what product to buy?  Where is the best source and whats the rock bottom price with the best product?  These are questions that we all ask our self daily when we shop online.  Well if your shopping for any type of herbal incense then this blog is your NOTEBOOK, its your starting place:

-Learn about the top blends of herbal spice

-Find the most reputable online seller

-learn what the strongest blends are

-know what companies to avoide

-share your experiences with other herbal smokers

That is the power of the internet.  We have all learned as we get older its all about who you know.  Boy that sure is the truth and its also about knowing before you buy.  If your smart with your time and money then you know you need to do a little research online these days before you ever break out that credit card and drop a single penny.  Herbal incense is a great product and though this blog you can research posts and blends and types of herbs to insure you find the perfect match for your liking.

We have bought herbal spice from over 30 different online sources and rated them all in our past posts.  We also bring cutting edge news about the laws in states though out the United States as it happens.  Do you know what blends are legal in your state? Do you know if they passed a new law banning chemicals in blends you been buying?  Well most people really have no clue.  Every state is different and many new laws are being passed daily to ban products like these.

When you stop in to our blog you can find this information as it happens.  We have a larger staff now and are really putting in over time to get our blog to be the largest information source on the net for you.  Please drop us a line and let us know what types of inprovemetns you would like to see.

Also as always if you have smoked herbal incense and would like to leave a review we ask that you please email us and we would love to share you experiences on our blog with all our views.  Our blog currently gets about 50,000 hits per day.  And we are not stopping there were adding a ton of options that you will love.  Thanks for stopping by, See you around!

Defcon 5 Total Annihilation Incense Review

Defcon 5 Total Annihilation Incense reminded me of many incenses on the market right now.  It had a nice aroma that sadly didn’t transfer over to the taste department.  As for the effects, it did get the job done but it didn’t last particularly long, nor was the intensity of the high enough to justify the price.  While it was an alright incense, the more than $20 for a gram price tag just isn’t justified.  6.5/10, alright a decent incense but there are way better values out there.  

One of the worst things about reviewing legal highs is playing Russian roulette with your paycheck.  Aside from the physical risks of being a human guinea pig, there is always the risk that you’ll end up blowing your hard-earned cash on a less-than-awesome product.  While Defcon 5 Incense isn’t bunk, it also isn’t mind-blowing and that’s just not good enough in today’s marketplace.  It’s a smoker’s maker right now and if you’re not bringing your A game, there are plenty of vendors that are.

My most recent test was Defcon 5 Incense’s blend.  I stumbled across the product online and uncovered some vaguely positive reviews so I figured I’d take the gamble.  I was hoping the product would prove to be worth the more than $20 a gram price.  $20 (or more) a gram can either be a great deal or a total ripoff depending on the product’s quality.  In this case, I just didn’t think it was good enough to warrant that price.

My gram arrived on a Friday and I actually had Saturday off for a change so I figured I’d get good and blazed.  Since I hadn’t used him in a while, I decided to test with my trusty Bongzilla.™  As always, I took it easy at first to test the potency.  After two smaller hits with no nasty side effects, I finished the bongload. Soon enough, I could tell I was getting high but not that high.  It leveled off pretty quickly so I followed it with another few hits.  The taste was a little rough not nearly as nice as I’d hope based on the smell.  However, it wasn’t exceptionally harsh.

The second bong got me where I wanted to be.  Sadly, after around an hour, I noticed that the high was fading rather quickly and had to take a few more rips to get back up.  That was the story of the rest of the night.  I had to keep toking pretty regularly to stay good and baked.  Now, this wouldn’t be so bad in some cases, the fact that there are tons of blends that are more effective for cheaper makes me think I’ll add this to the “not again” list.  Sure, I ended up having a good time but it’s just not a good value.

Now, I do have a tolerance and that could account for my experience.  Don’t be a dumbass and dive into this headfirst if you decide to try some.  You might just need a little bit to get where you need to go.  Personally, I’ll be avoiding this, there’s plenty of blends out there that can get me as high or higher for longer and for cheaper.  Defcon 5 was ok.  Just ok.  6.5 out of 10 based on a price that was much higher than I was.

Looking to order herbal incense?  I ran across http://someincense.com