POLITICS
04/15/2011 04:51 pm ET | Updated Jun 15, 2011

'Fake Weed' Bust: DEA Bans Chemicals In Synthetic Marijuana

Fake weed could be going up in smoke.

The Drug Enforcement Administration has placed five chemicals used to manufacture synthetic marijuana products under emergency restriction, making the substances and products containing them illegal to posses or sell in the United States.

JWH-018, JWH-073, JWH-200, CP-47,497 and cannabicyclohexanol, chemicals used in increasingly controversial "fake weed" products like K2 and Spice, are already illegal in many European countries and at least 18 U.S. states, Live Science reports.

"This emergency action was necessary to prevent an imminent threat to public health and safety," the DEA said in a statement.

Despite their previous legal status, synthetic marijuana products have for some time been considered dangerous, with reports of side-effects including seizures, high blood pressure and vomiting.

The chemicals now fall under the Schedule 1 sections of Controlled Substances Act, the same designation that applies to heroin and the ingredients in ecstasy.

According to organic chemist John W. Huffman, who developed the K2 compound during the mid 1990's, the chemicals are a-sort of lose cannon.

"It's like playing Russian roulette," Huffman said in an interview last year. "You don't know what it's going to do to you."

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