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Feds Target Incense and Potpourri That Mimics Marijuana

Certain types of incense and potpourri have seen sales skyrocket in recent months. The products are sprayed with a chemical that, if smoked, can have a similar effect as marijuana.

North Carolina was planning to ban the products, but now the federal Drug Enforcement Administration has said that they want to create a federal ban. If the DEA or the state is successful, possession of K2, Spice and other similar products will carry the same consequences as marijuana possession.

The DEA has begun what they call "emergency procedures" to make it illegal for people to make, sell or possess incense and potpourri that has been sprayed with certain chemicals. These chemicals cause the same effect, if smoked, as THC, the chemical in marijuana that makes people get high.

The DEA is seeking to classify the incense and potpourri that can be smoked like marijuana as a drug that is widely used and unsafe. The feds want these products to fall under the same category as heroin and cocaine.

Shop owners who carry the products say that a ban will significantly hurt sales in the stores, and that will hurt the local economy. None-the-less, North Carolina state legislators on both sides of the aisle appear determined to ban the potpourri and incense.

One senator who is a democrat has said, however, that he does not see the need for a state ban if the DEA is successful in implementing a federal ban. A republican, on the other hand said that state legislators will need to make sure the federal ban goes far enough to "get this stuff off the market."

Source: Winston-Salem Journal, "State will wait while U.S. pursues ban on fake pot," Paul Garber, 27 Nov 2010

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