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War on drugs made dangerous synthetics possible

Published: Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 00:02

It has been almost two months since Texas teenager Emily Bauer became stable enough to come off of life support after suffering several seizures and strokes, allegedly caused by synthetic drugs. Bauer is now constrained to a wheelchair and has only recently regained the ability to swallow solid food.


Like many teenagers, Emily fell victim to the pressures of adolescence and made a bad decision to consume drugs. But instead of suffering from a headache or increased appetite, Bauer suffered blood clots in her brain that led to severe brain damage.


The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and law enforcement are fighting a losing battle against marijuana that some states have already bowed out of. The introduction of synthetic cannabinoids, such as Spice and K2, only helps the argument that marijuana should be legalized by noting that the illicit drug has not proved to cause health risks.  

 
Since the legal substances became popular over the last eight years, the federal government and the DEA have fought another losing battle to catch up with the drugs’ manufacturers in order to ban the specific compounds that make up the dangerous products.


The problem is that every time a sanction is put in place to make a specific strand of the synthetic cannabinoids illegal, the drug makers are able to produce a different strand that complies with current law that has even more unpredictable side effects.


When the government tried to make any product that can be used as synthetic drugs illegal, the manufacturers in turn just marketed the products as potpourri or incense and marked the packages to say that the product is not for human consumption.


Emily’s story is one of many stories of how synthetic narcotics have affected those who use it beyond the designed inebriation. It has come to a point where the illicit drugs are a healthier alternative to the synthetic drugs that were designed to emulate the same high as marijuana.

The only difference is the controversial legality of marijuana and society’s perception of it.

If marijuana were legalized then synthetic cannabinoids would be useless.


Despite marijuana’s illegal status, people will continue to consume drugs or alcohol to become intoxicated. Instead of fighting a legal battle with chemical distributors of synthetic weed, decriminalizing the organic substance that is less potent would serve well.

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