City Desk

An Alternative to Backyard Pot?

If you're not willing to roll the dice on having charges dropped against you for growing pot at home, you might want to smoke fake pot instead.

The substance is legal, if pricey; just 3 grams can set you back $40. But it reportedly has the same effect as cannabis. Synthetic marijuana, which looks a lot like potpourri, is sold as incense. A Cleveland Park listserv post written by D.C. police Detective John Paprcka in October suggested the counterfeit weed had hit District schools.

A provision in At-Large Councilmember Phil Mendelson's Criminal Code Amendment bill is aimed at banning the stuff. Mendelson says he's attempting "to work up the bill for this week." So the Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary may vote on it Thursday.

Mendelson says synthetic marijuana needs to go, both because it's a "loophole" and because "there might be problems with public health." The substance is said to cause high blood pressure, and heart palpitations in some.

If Mendelson's legislation goes through, one avid Spice (a brand of the man-made pot) smoker will be very disappointed. The enthusiast, who asked City Desk not to name him, says he uses synthetic weed daily, and can't say enough good things about it. He says it's different from pot. "It doesn't have as much depth" and doesn't last as long, but still gets the job done.

Another great thing about it:"I don't believe it to be physically addictive." The smoker doesn't want to see the substance banned, but wouldn't mind another kind of government intervention. "I'd like to see it regulated," he says.

Of course, to state the obvious, if authorities would "regulate" marijuana as opposed to prohibiting it, no one would have to toke up on its iffy chemical stand-in.

*Photo by Darrow Montgomery

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  • Nikki

    I'm willing to do an experiment to see if its a suitable alternative.

  • math

    you must mean $40 for three grams, right. $40 for three ounces if it works even ok is a deal......

    an ounce of weed on the street sells for $400 and above.

  • Rend Smith

    Fixed @math,thanks!

  • Richie Sambora

    Stuff is popular also because it doesn't show up in your piss test. Yay!

  • Rick Mangus

    The word here people is 'SYNTHETIC', does anyone here have any idea what this stuff is made of?

  • SEis4ME

    @Math, an ounce of weed sells for 400 and above? I imagine you're referring to that which is grown hydroponically because if not, you've been ripped off by at least $280.

  • poop

    Good to know there are no other crimes being committed in DC. May to go Mendelson. Guess you've stopped all crime in DC so you can use your time on this. What a waste of space.