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Missouri Senate passes K2 ban treating substance same as marijuana

Wednesday, May 5, 2010 | 12:43 p.m. CDT; updated 5:34 p.m. CDT, Thursday, May 6, 2010

JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Senate passed a ban on synthetic marijuana without the House provision that makes possession of any amount a felony.

The House amended the ban in early March to make any K2 possession charge a Class C felony, but the Senate reversed that move Wednesday by making possession of 35 grams and more of K2 a felony. Anything less would be a misdemeanor.

This would make the treatment of K2 the same as marijuana.

"What I'm hearing from businesses who have employees — some those employees work at schools, they operate heavy machinery — who are going out at lunch, getting stoned on this stuff and coming back in and saying, 'Yeah, bought some K2 at the gas station, smoked it,'" Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, said. Schaefer was the sponsor of the Senate version.

The disagreement among senators wasn't over the ban.

"If I were to speak directly to the youth ... I would tell them No. 1: Stay off K2. It will kill you. That's what I would say," Sen. Jolie Justus, D-Kansas City, said, in a conversation with Sen. Scott Rupp, R-Wentzville. "No. 2: do not ever buy K2 because you will get a felony if this passes and that will ruin your chances of getting an education in the future and having a meaningful job."

Some Democrats said a felony charge for any possession amount was too harsh.

"I don't think we need more felonies. I don't think we need more teenage kids running around with felonies on their records," Justus said, adding that felonies can cost otherwise hardworking people their jobs.

She said making all K2 possession charges a felony did not make sense at a time when the state is trying to reduce the number of non-violent offenders in prisons.

Schaefer disagreed, comparing K2 more to methamphetamines instead of marijuana because K2 is a chemically synthesized drug.

The Senate passed the overall bill 32-0 as well as an emergency clause, which would cause the bill to go into immediate effect after receiving the governor's signature.

The revised bill needs House approval, or a compromise needs to be reached on the differences in a conference committee.


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Comments

stephen cutler May 5, 2010 | 2:43 p.m.

"It WILL KILL YOU" ???? WTH? Unbelivable misinformation big surprize!

(Report Comment)
Carl Kabler May 5, 2010 | 5:30 p.m.

Have any of these 3 martini lunch PUBLIC SERVANTS ever tried K-2 before running their mouths or deciding what is REALLY in the best interest of the citizenry. I confess, being in the sciences and wanting to REALLY learn the facts FIRST HAND about whatever subject I'm investigating, I did try some *LEGAL* K-2, just to see what it was all about, I figured since I recently took up light cigarrete smoking again after 19 years of abstinance, this stuff probably couldn't be much more harmful to my lungs etc.

So as to my TEST results: I simply felt a little warm, DIDN'T see walls melt, experience rainbow colors all around, find god, or have any other extravagant noticable experience, IMO it's alot to do about nothing. (In fact I had an extra beer to get over the warm sensation.)

So many witch hunts, so little time, I have to wonder how often in government, unimformed people simply follow the herd, or perhaps lobbyist money, and turn their minds and voices off and over to whatever is 'convenient' or more importantly simply profitable. Too, would be interesting to see how much alcohol lobbyists money went into the pockets of those promoting this bill.

I recall Columbia magazine one time running a cover with a big red eye on it, talking about the dangers in Columbia to 'weed', while at the same time, in the back of the SAME magazine, showing tailgaters drinking, and extolling the virtues of 'tailgate' party drinking. I have to wonder if they even realized their hypocracy, and how they weren't discouraging 'drug use' they were simply promoting THEIR DRUG of 'choice'. I don't EVER see science being used in any of these policy decisions, or in fact even much rational thought, the only thing I consistantly see is just FOLLOW THE $$$.

Hey politicians, if you REALLY want to do something usefull, take all of that money extorted from the citizens and fix these GIANT craters that I about lose a tire in every day I travel to work. Now THAT might really kill someone (but then I guess bad roads lead to lots of $$$ and sales from tires, alignments etc. and we don't want to slow down the public trough ATM machine now do we).

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking May 5, 2010 | 7:22 p.m.

"Schaefer disagreed, comparing K-2 more to methamphetamines instead of marijuana because K-2 is a chemically synthesized drug."

There's no pharmacological similarity between K2 (JWH-018) and the amphetamines. The structure of the drug is what determines its effects. It does not matter if it is synthesized chemically or extracted from a plant or animal.

Schaefer's argument is emotional and misleading, and it's a shame there is so little understanding of science and technology in our legislative bodies.

DK

(Report Comment)
Carl Kabler May 6, 2010 | 10:31 a.m.

I wonder how Schaefer feels about 4 million kids on Ritalin, or large numbers of the citizenry on 'chemically synthesized' DRUGS like Zoloft, Paxil, Wellbutrin,etc. etc. etc., aren't these things actually being PROMOTED rather than discouraged. Many of these drugs, whether legal or illegal work in virtually the same way, affecting neurotransmitters and such things as serotonin, beta endorphin etc.

Again follow the $$$, and it all becomes crystal clear. There are really very few 'evil molecules', (though I agree some drugs have very serious repercussions when abused and some are horribly contaminated with pollutants) how we decide which ones are 'good' and which ones are 'bad' though is often simply based in economics and politics and who controls the 'rights' and sales of the 'publics' drugs'.

Yes Mark I concur, science is often the LAST thing considered in making policy, especially 'drug policy' if it is even considered at all.

(Report Comment)
adam meyer May 8, 2010 | 5:02 p.m.

Before K2 was available I smoke marijuana. Given the choice of a legal alternative I chose not to break the law. That means money that would have been spent outside of the taxable economy, now was spent and taxed by a legitimate business. With the pending K2 ban I will be forced to break the law. That is too sad when there are states that sell marijuana. People in california must be much more reasonable and responsible than us mid-westerners.

(Report Comment)
Lisa Kelley May 11, 2010 | 1:51 p.m.

Sen. Schaefer's comment is irrelevant. Just because something is legal doesn't mean an employer cannot create policies to prevent it in the workplace. Alcohol consumption is legal but it would be grounds for termination at most places of work. If a teacher or someone who operated heavy equipment showed up drunk they would probably be fired but they wouldn't be a felon. He is really reaching here.

(Report Comment)
Mark Montgomery May 13, 2010 | 11:54 p.m.

Another stupid move by another ignorant legislature. The last thing we need is more illegal chemicals. The idea of arresting and jailing a citizen for possession or sale of K-2 is absurd. I've been buying my K-2 in Missouri, now I'll have to find another state. Hey Missouri legislature, it's us against you, you now have enemies. Mark Montgomery boboberg@nyc.rr.com

(Report Comment)
Scott Petrinec May 17, 2010 | 9:15 a.m.

I cant Find any info that I am looking for on the subject...
So, is it Illegal in MO now?
I read that on 5/13 it was "Truly Agreed To and Finally Passed"

Does that mean it is illegal to possess it,sell it,and smoke it now?

(Report Comment)
John Schultz May 17, 2010 | 10:40 a.m.

I have not read the bill itself, but it is not a bill until Governor Nixon signs it, of course. Many bills passed by the General Assembly only take effect on a certain date in the future, not immediately when signed by the governor, unless an emergency clause of some sort is part of the legislation.

(Report Comment)
Eric Cox May 17, 2010 | 11:47 a.m.

It takes effect sometime in the Fall.

(Report Comment)
alicia stinnett May 18, 2010 | 12:25 p.m.

Yeah thats cool because if you didnt know there are all kinds of different versions of K2 out there that do exactly the same thing and they are all still legal......

(Report Comment)
Josie Jones September 21, 2011 | 3:54 p.m.

If it weren't for the prohibition of marijuana, folks would not buy k2 incense alternatives. Why would they? If people had legal access to the real deal they would not be hunting down k2 herb and the like. Just as the government has wasted endless resources chasing down marijuana, now they are going to do the same with this incense stuff. It is ridiculous and wasteful in more ways than one. How long have these products been banned, and there are still places advertising legal everywhere products like those found at http://www.buyk2.com .

(Report Comment)
Alexa Thomas October 28, 2011 | 11:38 p.m.

I truly hope this stops some people from using this drug. For many, it has no effect or minimal. For other's, like my son, that is not true. My son was happy, healthy and very normal. He smoked K2 and had a psychotic breakdown. He is doing better, but still in a psychiatric ward. I know he is the exception, not the rule. However, if making it a felony stops this happening to one person, I would be very thankful.

(Report Comment)

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