Real concern over so-called synthetic pot

From Duluth comes word that at least some people are paying attention to K2. No, not K2 the airboard (see below), not K2 the shipping company, not K2 the window-cleaning firm. Authorities in Duluth (thanks, Minnesota Today) are considering a ban on K2 the so-called incense, which the young and the credulous apparently are smoking as a legal alternative to marijuana. Because the young and the credulous will smoke anything if you tell them it will get them high.

It’s a triumph of word-of-mouth marketing, because the head shops that sell this junk would never market it explicitly as something to ingest, just as they would never admit that the bongs in the display case are for anything but tobacco. One retailer’s website dances right up to the edge, though: “The soothing K2 smoke is sure to inspire, elevate and enlighten. K2′s effect lasts a little over an hour and relieves pain. K2 incense blend can only be called nothing less than the ultimate in sensory delight.”

“Relieves pain”? Is anybody at the state Health Department paying attention to this? Without proper testing and regulation, there’s no telling what these kids are sucking into their lungs, as was pointed out on Midmorning a few weeks ago. Could be lemon grass, could be paint chips.

Time was, pot heads with no pot turned to banana peels. Supposedly you could scrape the insides of the peel, dry the residue and smoke that. Urban legend, since debunked, says Donovan was writing about the practice in his song, “Mellow Yellow.” Which gives us all the excuse we need for a visit to YouTube:

On an unrelated note: Researching this item introduced me to the airboard. I am so getting one of these.