Faux Pot Perfectly Legal at Bay Area Smoke Shops

Get a synthetic high without breaking the law.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    NBCDFW.com
    Some teenagers are smoking K2 as an alternative to marijuana, even though the incense is labeled as "not for human consumption."

    The genie may be out of the bottle. 

    And when we use the word "Genie" we are talking about one of the many new names used for synthetic pot. You can buy the product at Bay Area smoke shops without breaking any laws and it will give you a pot-like high.

    James Frost-Winn is no stranger to marijuana.  He works part time at Distractions, which is one of the many shops on San Francisco's Haight Street.  About a year ago he heard about a legal product that gives you a high similar to pot.

    "A lot of people use it they have to do it to past drug tests." Frost-Winn said. "I wanted to try it cause it was around".

    The pot impostor goes by several names other than Genie. They include Spice, K-2 and Black Mamba.

    "It was similar to what marijuana didn't have the same body or mind relief as marijuana," Frost-Winn said.

    But unlike real grown marijuana, they are legal and are marketed as an herb incense or potpourri.

    You can even find the stuff on Amazon.

    When it first hit the smoke shops it flew off shelves, but sales have settled down in recent months, according to smoke shops we talked to.

    Here's what you would be buying.  The herbs in the product are sprayed with a synthetic chemical similar to THC, which is found in marijuana.  The packaging says not for human consumption, but that is not stopping people from using it.

    Amy Roderick, who is special agent with the DEA, said people could buy it from a store and have no idea about the potential side effects.

    The synthetic pot has caught the attention of the DEA who now says they are considering listing Spice and K-2 as a "controlled substance," which would make it illegal.

    People we talked to said that would be a waste of time, because makers would simply find something else to replace it with. Users say the product is also popular with members of the military and parolees because it doesn't show up in drug tests.