Alvin and Tomball are joining other Texas cities trying to ban an herb known as K2 that some teens are using as a marijuana substitute.
It’s already prohibited in most of Europe but only handful of states in the U.S.
After two recent trips to the emergency room in Alvin by teenagers who later admitted their symptoms of nausea and rapid heart rate were caused by smoking a form of “fake marijuana,” the police chief in Alvin has proposed banning the sale of the herbal product.
K2, sold under names like K2 Summit, K2 Ultra, and K2 Blonde, is a product marketed as incense with a list of herbal ingredients and synthetic extracts including canavalia rosea and clematis vitalba. But those ingredients have been sprayed or soaked with a synthetic compound chemically similar to THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.
KTRK reports that Tomball is also interested in banning the herb:
In Tomball, the name is Kush, and we found it in Houston as K-2. Sold as incense, the package clearly states “not for consumption” and “for aromatherapy use only.” But that’s not what’s happening.
“A lot of people are have been using it like marijuana, rolling it up and smoking it, and like marijuana, it has an hallucinogenic effect,” said Lt. Mike Hill of the Northwest EMS in Tomball.
The product is mostly herbal; however the packaging says it contains synthetic extracts. That sends a red flag to EMS. “That causes a lot of concern. It’s unknown how it will react with different people and with different drugs,” Lt. Hill said.
The Port Arthur News reported earlier this year that Port Arthur banned the substance after watching what was happening elsewhere in Texas:
According to a report presented to city leaders in the north Texas town of Allen who recently banned the product, there have been 25 cases of youth ages 14 to 21 who, after smoking K2, visited the emergency room with symptoms including’ agitation, anxiety, tachycardia hypertension, vomiting and hallucinations.