WASHINGTON — Cracking down on fake pot, the government moved yesterday to outlaw five chemicals used in herbal blends to make the synthetic marijuana that is sold in head shops and on the Internet to a growing number of teens and young adults.
The Drug Enforcement Administration began the 30-day process to put these chemicals in the same drug category as heroin and cocaine. The agency acted after receiving increasing reports about these products since 2009 from poison centers, hospitals, and law enforcement agencies.
The five chemicals mimic THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, and are not Food and Drug Administration approved.
Barbara Carreno, DEA spokeswoman, Barbara Carreno said makers of fake pot blends including “Spice,’’ “K2,’’ “Blaze,’’ and “Red X Dawn,’’ label the mixtures as incense to try to hide their intended purpose.