A Brief History of Banned, Fake, and Contentious Drugs in Florida
Always Changing: Synthetic Cannabis
These products are made with synthetic ingredients designed to mimic the effects of THC. They began popping up around 2000 and weren't banned by the DEA until a decade later. The problem with criminalizing designer drugs like Spice, though, is that the chemical formula can just be tweaked to skirt the law. In December 2012, Attorney General Pam Bondi issued a temporary order that banned 27 compounds commonly used to make these substances.
K2, one of the most popular brands of fake weed, apparently tried to sell truly fake weed after the ban. Its "New Generation" product line was 100 percent legal but also 100 percent boring and cannabis-free. It's unclear what happened to the new K2, because it doesn't seem to be available even online.
Not Yet lllegal: Kratom
A stimulant/depressant combo that's popular in Thailand, Kratom became the next Great American Drug Scare in 2012. It's currently listed as a "drug of concern" by the DEA, but the agency hasn't moved quickly toward banning Kratom like it did for drugs like spice and bath salts. In fact, you can still pick up some capsules at various head shops on Washington Avenue in Miami Beach or sip some tea made from the crushed leaf at the Purple Lotus Kava Bar, with locations in West Palm and Delray beaches.
Although some people say Kratom helps with depression and can be used to treat addiction to harder drugs, other people claim the psychoactive is habit-forming in its own right. One Jupiter couple is even suing Purple Lotus, a West Palm kava bar, for getting them hooked on the plant. It's hard to manage people hawking their mom's TV to keep a steady supply of the stuff -- it just makes you feel vaguely light-headed -- but it's probably the next head-shop high on the chopping block.
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