Attorney, Shop Owners Fight DEA Ban On ‘Fake Pot’

By Steve Murphy, NewsRadio 830 WCCO

DULUTH, Minn. (AP/WCCO) — The owner of a Duluth head shop says a new federal ban on five chemicals used to make synthetic marijuana won’t make much difference — he’ll just stock brands that use other, still-legal substances.

Fake pot contains organic leaves coated with chemicals that provide a marijuana-like high when smoked. They’re sold under various brands including Spice, K2, Blaze and Red X Dawn.

Jim Carlson, owner of the Last Place on Earth, tells the Duluth News Tribune that with over 200 similar chemicals available, the manufacturers will try to keep one step ahead of the government.

A Drug Enforcement Agency spokeswoman confirms many suppliers are offering retailers products with new chemicals.

The Last Place on Earth is one of four Minnesota head shops suing to block the ban. A Twin Cities attorney is also fighting the ban.

Marc Kurzman represents four Minnesota shops that sell the product. The federal ban was triggered by complaints of bad reactions, which is a claim Kurzman disputes.

“It’s been put forth by the DEA that this mimics marijuana or cannabis and that is absolutely false,” he said.

Kurzman said his clients are losing a lot of money.

“Across the nation it’s more than $100 million a year in commerce,” he said.

Kurzman is seeking a federal court injunction.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Steve Murphy Reports


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