Regulate Synthetic Marijuana in the United States

Synthetic MMJ

Target: Members of Congress

Goal: Establish standards for the development, sale and use of synthetic marijuana

Synthetic marijuana is a man-made herbal mixture sprayed with chemicals intended to create similar euphoric feelings experienced from using marijuana. Inconsistency in dosing, high potency and lack of knowledge and regulation have led to thousands of hospitalizations of synthetic marijuana users. Please sign this petition to regulate the production, sale and use of synthetic marijuana in order to keep users educated and safe.

In July 2012 five chemicals commonly used to make synthetic marijuana were declared illegal. Since then, synthetic product manufactures have continued to sell the substances by using slightly different chemicals that produce similar results. Toxicology screens do not yet exist to determine the precise make-up of synthetic marijuana, thus making it more dangerous and harder to pin-point. Advertised as a “legal” alternative to marijuana, the substance is often sold as incense or potpourri with the label “not for human consumption.” These packaging discrepancies allow the product to be sold, commonly in gas stations and convenience stores.

Despite synthetic manufacturers playing both sides of the legal line, people know what to do to get the desired affects, often at their own expense. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, synthetic marijuana was linked to 11, 500 drug-related emergency room visits in 2010. Children ages 12 to 17 accounted for the majority of emergency-room visits. Commons side effects of synthetic marijuana use include elevated heart rate and blood pressure, which can lead to stroke, disturbed perceptions and changes in mood; people can become unresponsive and agitated.

Criminalization only drives the demand for illegal drug use on the black market, however, regulation and education can have wide reaching effects beyond increasing responsible use. Please sign this petition and demand that Congress establish legislation regulating the production, sale and use of synthetic marijuana.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Members of Congress,

Synthetic marijuana is a man-made herbal substance sprayed with chemicals designed to mimic the effects of marijuana. Lack of regulatory control and toxicology screens to determine the precise chemicals used have led to an alarming rate of hospitalizations among 12 to 17-year-old children.

Congress tried to take care of the synthetic marijuana problem by banning five commonly used chemicals in the synthetic drug. As expected, manufacturers have continued production by slightly changing the chemical make up. Marketing synthetic cannabinoids as incense or potpourri and labeling it “not for human consumption” has allowed many distributors to continue selling. We must learn more about the production, sale and use of synthetic marijuana in order to regulate it as an alternative to the real thing.

Synthetic marijuana has become the second-most popular drug used by high school aged children behind marijuana. According to a national survey by the University of Michigan, one in every nine high school seniors admits to having used synthetic marijuana in 2011. As the product becomes more popular and readily available in convenience stores, hospitalizations linked to synthetic marijuana use have also gone up. Nearly 11,500 emergency-room visits were linked to synthetic marijuana use in 2010. The majority of those visits were made by children 12 to 17 years of age.

This unregulated mystery substance is growing in appeal as manufacturers continue to produce a more potent product. The U.S. must investigate and establish regulatory legislation to guide the production, sale and use before the black market takes over.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: blog.celebratedrugrehab via Yahoo

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One Comment

  1. J Davidson says:

    So dangerous, it must be withdrawn from the market.

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