Many of you have heard the terms “fake marijuana,” “K2,” and “Spice,” popping up in news stories lately. An Iowa teenager recently committed suicide after consuming this product. So what exactly is K2?

From Sciencedaily.com:

According to (Dr. Anthony) Scalzo, K2, an unregulated mixture of dried herbs, is growing in popularity because it is legal, purported to give a high similar to marijuana and believed to be natural and therefore safe.

“K2 may be a mixture of herbal and spice plant products, but it is sprayed with a potent psychotropic drug and likely contaminated with an unknown toxic substance that is causing many adverse effects. These toxic chemicals are neither natural nor safe,” said Scalzo, who also directs the Missouri Regional Poison Control Center at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center.

When you hear things like “sprayed with a potent psychotropic drug,” that’s a good indication that said product is not “natural.” And when you hear things like this, you also know the product is far from safe.

David Rozga, 18, smoked K2 on June 6 before he suffered a severe panic attack, told friends he was “going to hell,” then went home and shot and killed himself.

People like to say that K2 is “similar” to marijuana. Really? How many people have smoked some weed then went home and shot themselves?

As states rush to ban this substance, it’s very important to keep in mind that K2 is not marijuana. The symptoms associated with its use are far removed from what people experience when they use marijuana; the biggest difference of course being that people die as a direct result of consuming K2.

The media realizes that if they say people are smoking incense and dying, it’s not as sensational as saying they are smoking “fake weed,” and dying. It’s like someone drinking a bottle of rubbing alcohol and saying they got sick from drinking a few beers. Calling it “fake marijuana” doesn’t make it marijuana.

If you’re a kid and you’re thinking of trying K2 because it’s still legal to buy in your state, you’d be better off running the risk of buying real, illegal marijuana. Even if you get caught, you won’t die from inhaling a toxic substance or experience “hallucinations, severe agitation, elevated heart rate and blood pressure, vomiting and, in some cases, tremors and seizures,” like you do from K2. You’ll just be another statistic in The War on Drugs.

Joe Klare

About The Author

Joe Klare has been writing about marijuana issues for the past 5 years online, in print and on air.

13 Responses

  1. old roofer

    same thing with alcohol.if u want a buzz your better off smoking or eating marijuana then drinking poison ,i mean alcohol.

  2. Don H

    I have tried this “Fot” as I like to call it. I can assure it’s no substitute for the real thing. But the prohibition of marijuana has brought us to this. It’s sad when people choose to poison themselves to keep out of jail or have to pass a p*ss test to get a job. I think the federal government should be responsible for any side effects this product produces; as they are directly responsible for need and use of this product.

  3. przxqgl

    i run a web site on which i sell incense and devotional statues, and i get calls about once every two weeks – i just got a call yesterday, in fact – from people who are looking for K2. i only sell natural incense, but this is good information for me to have the next time somebody calls looking for it.

  4. Yeah Right

    Died as a “direct result” of smoking K2? How is suicide a direct result? He died as a direct result of a bullet to the brain. And what was a teenager doing with a handgun anyway? Federal Law says you have to be 21.

    You are engaging in the same kind of reefer madness sensationalism that you pretend to be against.

    And yes, in large doses, marijuana can and does cause mild hallucinations, elevated heart rates and blood pressure, vomiting, paranoia, and agitation. If you are already prone to psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia, clinical depression, or bipolarism, marijuana can make those disorders worse.

    The problem with incense is the same as any other drug: lack of regulation. You don’t know what you’re getting, and any attempt to promote responsible behavior is an “admission of guilt.”

    It’s time we started to act like adults and admit that some people enjoy feeling intoxicated. Then use industry regulations to make sure companies are being honest, and consumers know what they are purchasing.

  5. Joe

    I won’t comment on the causes and effects of suicide. We are both alive so we know very little about that subject. I will say that if a drunk driver kills your child, they died as a direct result of that’s drivers alcohol consumption.

    As far as engaging in reefer madness, that’s the whole point. It’s not “reefer.” Some are telling kids that this is as safe as marijuana, and it clearly is not. It is not marijuana in any way, shape, or form, and saying it is is irresponsible. We call crack “crack” and coke “coke,” so why must we continually refer to K2 as “fake marijuana?”

  6. Number one fan

    I have been dabbling with the many varieties of k-2 or “tweed”
    As my friends and I have been calling it for sometime. At first I would have argued it being
    A legal alternative without adverse side effects
    But prolonged use has left me dramatically short of breath ( obviously ) but I have experienced hallucinations and the shakes as well as migraines and noticable differences in mood

  7. brittany payton

    Well…enjoyed this article. But I do have an opinion and id like to share. See I see it like this k2 is somewhat a lot like weed and right now man its legal. I don’t think the regular stuff like spice k2 and mr. Niceguy would have anything harmful in it. And all these emergency happenings happening to the unfortunate isn’t news to me. Like I said a lot like marijuana…some people cannot tolerate marijuana. Their bodys just cant handle it and it causes a bad reaction. So I believe if marijuana was to ever come fully legal you bet your buns there is gonna be some emergency room visits…and I garuntee you mostly minors. Well fake marijuana just hit the market. Kids are buying it like crazy. They go home try it out and the unfortunate ones freak out and have basically a panic attack….a panic attack itself can go horribly wrong so I don’t know if I can blame the k2 on that one. Its every person for themselves. I self medicate with the real stuff. I can honestly say it saves me life. But I have had k2 and spike a pretty good amout of times and the only complaint I have is it just don’t taste and smell like my mary. And there’s been times I didn’t even get high. But you know what? Its legal.

  8. 1hitstoppedbreathing

    Hadn’t smoked real marijuana in a while, and never had any problems when I did. Hanging out with a couple of neighbors and 1 of them pulls out this “legal marijuana” as it was described to me. So I figured it would be no big deal, after all, they sell it publicly. No joke, I took 1 hit, and in less than 1 minute, I blacked out and fell off my porch. They thought I was just messing with them, but after a minute of me not moving at all, they checked on me. I was not breathing….after the ambulance ride and 2.5 days in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) at the local hospital, I was allowed to go home. Y’all do what you want to do, I’m not your parents and I’m not your judge, but from personal experience, I would just leave this fake crap alone.

  9. Daniel

    Don’t do it please! I smoked this sh*t on a daily basis for the last two months because I needed to pass drug tests.. but then, last night i put some in a cigarette and smoked it. Less than 30 minutes later i wash crying in my dead room telling him i was having a heart attack! I just got out of the hospital after about 5 hours of yesterday & i swear i will never forget this night /;

  10. Chillin

    @Daniel

    The lack of explanation of what happened at the hospital makes it pretty obvious you were just freaking out and having a panic attack.

    If you don’t know how to calm yourself down…don’t do drugs. Definitely never try psychedelics because your ass would definitely have a bad trip.

    Or, wise up and realize drugs aren’t for children.

  11. 420always

    ummmmmm……i have been smoking fake since 2007 and im fine, for stoners who get piss tested fake is the 2nd comin, and a drunk driver killin someone is his/her fault, its not the alcohol thery shouldn’t have drank so much, and the kid killin himself is HIS fault, i have been around the world tripping and i aint killed myself, so it was HIS choice, don’t blame the stufff he was smoking, ppl should research the smoke before they inhale not after when they trippin, thats common sense

  12. caleb

    420- u been smokin since 07 and your fine…I doubt that…Ur just telling yourself your fine your lying to yourself anyone that smokes potpourri for more than a month will start to see problems u will start to spit and hack up green or really dark stuff and have a horrible cough sometimes where u can’t go more than 30 seconds with out coughing your lungs hurt bad u will puke sometime when u try to eat and when your not even eating may puke in your sleep you will has throat problems u will feel like your always sick u may spit blood up it causes all kinds of problems if uv been smokin it that long your lucky to be alive it doesn’t compare to weed at all weed gives you a nice calm chill high where you can actually think about stuff and it doesn’t numb your mind potpourri on the other hand is a heart racing high Ur mind is going 100 mph u can’t think about anything you have bad head aches after smokin to much u start to talk literally stupid u can’t think of words that you once said daily it kills tons of brain cells for u to say uv been smokin it for 5 years makes u one stupid person in all honesty and it basically turns your lungs into plastic I mean if you have the option smoke ganja n if you can’t smoke weed then simply don’t get high if you really need to get high smoke weed n if u can’t quit Ur job n find a new one that don’t drug test….to kill yourself slowly is just plain stupid…and the high isn’t even worth it..it last 30 mins max so u gota smoke a ton just to stay high through out your day so right there its already costing more than weed…even if u smoke a bag a day that’s still cost more for a crappy high potpourri is completely pointless and stupid I no all of this because I smoked for 8 months and had to have throat surgery because of the stuff so don’t say I don’t no what I’m talking about.

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