February 2, Chicago, Il
You don’t have to look hard to find legal dope for sale at Chicago head shops.Well, it looks like the old saying, "where there's a will there's a way" is once again true. Still, even I'm not certain why, in a country where alcohol is still the biggest mind-altering substance, K2 or even marijuana should be outlawed.
The marijuana substitute called K2 is openly on display, sold as incense for up to $35 a gram.
The mixture of herbs and spices is produced in China and Korea, and it’s sprayed with a synthetic compound chemically similar to THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.
Users roll it in joints or inhale it from pipes, just like the real thing.
K2 typically costs between $20 and $50 for three grams — similar to the street price of marijuana. The key ingredients are believed to be the unintended result of scientific research on marijuana’s effects.
John Huffman, a Clemson University organic chemistry professor, was researching the effects of cannabinoids on the brain when his work resulted in a 1995 paper that contained the method and ingredients used to make the compound. That recipe found its way to marijuana users.
“People who use it are idiots,” said Huffman, referring to K2 smokers.
But online advocates say that because the drug is legally made, it undermines the ruthless Mexican cartels who control much of the illegal drug trade.