Senator Chuck Schumer is in Rochester today in order to, among other things, call for a new federal ban on synthetic marijuana (also known as K2 or Spice). It’s not news that lawmakers want fake weed banned. The real question is how you do it. So far, every attempt to ban it has failed.
Think of it this way: There are 400 different drug compounds used to make fake weed. Most fake weed products only use a small handful of those 400 compounds. Every time lawmakers attempt to “ban” fake weed, they ban one or two of those compounds. And how do drug makers react? Simple. They reconstruct the formula, removing the banned compounds, and adding some of the many other still-legal compounds. The result is a new synthetic marijuana that looks just like the old synthetic marijuana. The old one is banned, the new one is legal. And it takes about two days for the new stuff to hit the market.
So today, Senator Schumer is going to propose what his office promises is a “more comprehensive” ban. How would this work?
Here’s one guess: He could follow what the state of Missouri is attempting to do. Instead of banning individual compounds one-by-one, he could call for a ban on any compound that interacts with the brain the same way marijuana does. Any product that bonds with the brain’s cannabinoid receptors would now be against the law. It’s a blanket approach that could, in theory, clear the shelf and make all of those products illegal. And it would prevent drug makers from creating new products that get around the law.
Senator Schumer’s news conference is set for 11:15 Monday in Rochester. We’ll have complete coverage on 13WHAM News.
Evan Dawson, Anchor/Reporter