Synthetic Drugs(K2 Or Spice)
It is far too easy for young people to assume that legal and illegal drugs are either right or bad. Criminalized drugs must be unsafe while legal drugs are safe to take with no consequences. The problem is that this black and white image doesn’t give an accurate representation of the world of dangerous substances.
The best example of this is K2, otherwise known as Spice or Synthetic Marijuana. K2 was once legal on a technicality but is now banned. Government officials are keen to see all “legal highs” like this banned. This is because these drugs are potent, unregulated and highly dangerous.
K2 And Other Synthetic Drugs Are Not Legal To Buy Because Of Their Safety
At one time, it was easy for anyone to purchase a packet of these legal drugs. They just had to walk into a head shop in a UK street and pay the owner. It was a low-cost alternative to the “real” thing. K2 and Spice mimic cannabis while bath salts mimic ecstasy. The problem is that the low cost is the only real selling point for these drugs.
Manufacturers print eye-catching packets with warnings saying “not for human consumption” to bypass regulations. The ironic thing is that these warnings are correct. These substances are no safer than the plant food, screen cleaners and potpourri they are masquerading as. The legality of synthetic drugs has nothing to do with safety.
Why Are K2 And These Other “Legal Highs” So Dangerous?
The chemical make-up and uncertainty over ingredients mean that users have no clue what they are putting into their bodies. Spice is a good example. The dried plant material may seem natural, like weed or some other herbal leaf.
However, these leaves are then sprayed with chemicals to mimic those found in the “real” drug. The wide range of products and manufacturers means that there is no guarantee on the chemical used or its potency.
Some of these drugs may be quite weak, relatively speaking. Users may experience a high similar to cannabis and feel no ill effect. Stronger drugs may cause states of paranoid, hallucinations, anxiety and psychosis. Then there are those that did not know what they were taking and died. Each pretty packet is a gamble that is not worth taking.
So Why Don’t We Make Them All Illegal?
The simple answer is an outright ban on steering users away from these dangerous drugs. The problem comes in that loophole about the purpose of the product. The 2016 Psychoactive Substances Act bans makers from creating and distributing legal highs “intended for human consumption.”
Head shops are now banned from carrying such products. Naturally, manufacturers and sellers are looking for the way around this, such as the sale of “phone screen cleaners.” Store owners caught selling banned substances can face a jail term of up to seven years. The problem comes in catching them in the act first.
The issue of legal highs and illegal drugs is not a black and white case of safe substances against dangerous ones. Synthetic drugs that beat the system are just as dangerous as they always were. We just have to hope that young people understand this.