DEA Bans Chemicals Used in Synthetic Marijuana Products

Using its emergency powers, the DEA today banned five chemicals used in synthetic marijuana. They are JWH-018, JWH-073, JWH-200, CP-47,497, and cannabicyclohexanol. The federal register notice is here.

Except as authorized by law, this action will make possessing and selling these chemicals or the products that contain them illegal in the U.S. for at least one year while the DEA and the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) further study whether these chemicals and products should be permanently controlled.

....The Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984 amends the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to allow the DEA Administrator to emergency schedule an abused, harmful, non-medical substance in order to avoid an imminent public health crisis while the formal rule-making procedures described in the CSA are being conducted.

The chemicals are used in smokable herbal blends like “Spice,” “K2,” “Blaze,” and “Red X Dawn.” Eric Sterling says there's no evidence the chemicals or herbal blends are dangerous. [More...]

Sterling quotes Penn State Professor Michael Kenney, author of the book From Pablo to Osama: Trafficking and Terrorist Networks, Government Bureaucracies, and Competitive Adaptation on the use of intelligence gathered by the drug bureaucracy:

“Prosecutors construct plausible narratives of criminal activity that satisfy the evidentiary standards of trial law procedure, convince jurors to convict defendants, and secure additional resources to continue their efforts. Policymakers create memorable narratives of organized criminality that capture the public interest, build support for bureaucratic and legislative agendas, and communicates messages laced with political symbolism that the United States is fighting, and ultimately winning, a war against drugs.”

From the Federal Register Notice linked above:

These synthetic cannabinoids alone or spiked on plant material have the potential to be extremely harmful due to their method of manufacture and high pharmacological potency. DEA has been made aware that smoking these synthetic cannabinoids for the purpose of achieving intoxication and experiencing the psychoactive effects is identified as a reason for emergency room visits and calls to poison control centers.

The data available and reviewed for JWH-073, JWH-018, JWH-200, CP-47,497, and cannabicyclohexanol indicate that these synthetic cannabinoids each have a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States and are not safe for use under medical supervision.Show citation box

Based on the above data, the continued uncontrolled manufacture, distribution, importation, exportation, and abuse of JWH-018, JWH-073, JWH-200, CP-47,497, and cannabicyclohexanol pose an imminent hazard to the public safety.

There's also this:

This rule will not result in the expenditure by State, local and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $126,400,000 or more (adjusting for inflation) in any one year, and it will not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. Therefore, no actions were deemed necessary under the provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.

More on the pharmacology here.

< Tom DeLay Convicted of Money Laundering | Weds. Night Open Thread: The Group W Bench >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    My daughter says that spice is all (none / 0) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Nov 25, 2010 at 06:49:28 AM EST
    rage around here right now.  She also says that it does not show up in a drug test.  I don't know if that is true.  But according to her a lot of the flight school students at Fort Rucker are using it.

    Since when does the DEA need evidence? (none / 0) (#2)
    by kdog on Thu Nov 25, 2010 at 07:01:29 AM EST
    Shouldn't we finish adressing the caffeinated alcohol scourge before we confront the synthetic reefer scourge?  One faux crisis at a time people:)

    Typical authoritarian mindset too...don't quite understand it?  Ban it straight off, then faux-study it and make sure the findings justify the ban.  Lame.

    I know, can you believe (none / 0) (#3)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Nov 25, 2010 at 08:40:05 AM EST
    that a beverage containing two common substances must be removed from the field of possibilities because I can't control myself?  If I ever had any incentive to develop the ability to make good choices for myself that could or would rival a 12 year old......those are gone now :)

    oh great (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jen M on Thu Nov 25, 2010 at 03:27:55 PM EST
    now we'll have the underground coffee smuggling cartel and have the war on chocolate.