The state of Washington has tried to keep "K2" or "Spice" out of the hands of both adults and teens, but we found a form of the product is still being sold. Action News learned it's going to take more than a ban to stop stores from carrying the potentially-dangerous products.
Advertised as an incense, state and federal law have banned the products known as Spice or K2, but that hasn't stopped it from being sold.
Action News went to five stores and four out of five were selling K2. It says on the package "DEA approved" as well as "not for human consumption." Yet the state of Washington has banned it and people are definitely smoking it.
"These can be very dangerous drugs,” said Donn Moyer, with the Washington State Health Department. “Of course they are chemicals that have been manipulated by people so no one really knows what their quality control is."
An incident in December of last year proves just how dangerous Spice can be. A Seattle man high on synthetic weed drove onto the sidewalk hitting three people near Pike's Place Market. Thankfully, they survived, but not everyone has been so lucky.
"There have been some absolutely tragic events that have occurred as a result of use of these products,” said Moyer. “People have been hurt, people have hurt other people and people have died."
Washington's permanent ban on synthetic marijuana takes effect next month. In the meantime, the makers of the product may be getting around the law by slight changes to the ingredient list.
The new law would hopefully tighten that loophole. As the state tries to stay one step ahead of potentially-dangerous products sold right in corner markets.
Police say they haven't enforced the current laws banning synthetic marijuana because they only give Federal Law Enforcement the ability to enforce it, but that will change November 3rd.