Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ban K2 Now

Sherman city council is considering banning K2, a legal substitute for cannabis that mimics the high effect of marijuana. Discussion of the substance reached a national level last year when "David Rozga, an 18-year old Iowa teen who was smoking with friends, told them he was 'in Hell', walked home and committed suicide."

The reason it has become so popular is that cannabis is illegal, and K2 has similar effects to smoking marijuana - it is also cheaper. However, the side effects of smoking K2 are shocking. Some side effects include: "hallucinations, vomiting, agitation, panic attacks, tachycardia, elevated blood pressure, pallor, numbness and tingling, disorientation, loss of time awareness and, in some cases, tremors and seizures." Scientists also don't know whether some of these effects are long-term. 

I have witnessed friends exhibit some of these side effects after smoking K2, and it was an incredibly scary experience for me to see such reactions, such as friends freaking out over strong hallucinations. This begs the question, why is something legal, that has worse effects on kids than giving them a hit of acid? It should have been banned in Texas a long time ago. 

This information should matter to parents because it’s their kids who are smoking these chemicals that are synonymous with the kind of compounds you’d find in an air freshener or a chemical warfare factory. The government should also care because there’s a substance out there which mimics the effects of marijuana, is not detectable via drug test, and if it’s causing kids to kill themselves, they should be as harsh on it as they are on other drugs.  

This all brings to the forefront the question of whether to legalize cannabis. If legal substitutes like K2 continue to be made made, which have worse effects than cannabis, then the laws pertaining to cannabis should be reconsidered. I am neither for or against marijuana legalization, however, in light of K2, I would take a serious look at my thoughts on cannabis, and possibly see it as a lesser of two evils. 

1 comment:

  1. James, overall a sound argument, but a few generalities that could have used some backing. First, remember to link to the original article. Also I would have loved to know the specific side effects you witnessed when your friends smoked K2 (what did they hallucinate and why did they freak out)?

    In the last paragraph you say that it should matter to parents, but ostensibly if these kids are a threat to others and themselves, it should matter to everyone, right? It's a public health threat. Also while saying "smoking these chemicals that are synonymous with the kind of compounds you’d find in an air freshener or a chemical warfare factory," it sounds strong but I'm not inclined to believe it unless you link to something that backs that opinion up or follow by mentioning one or two compounds that they and K2 share.

    Lastly (and this is just a point I would make as a commenter and not a teacher), there are other substances out there not detectable via drug test and causing kids and adults to kill themselves that the government is totally OK with—alcohol. So while you're not for or against legalization, I wonder if you would be for or against the prohibition of alcohol.