Almost unnoticed in the national media was the implementation of an emergency ban by the DEA and schedule 1 classification of many synthetic cannabinoid chemicals Dec. 24th. From the Huffington Post:
The synthetic weed, known as “K2” or “spice” and generally sold in head shops, is popular among police officers, members of the military and others looking to avoid failing a drug test, said one hemp store owner who sells the product. The high from marijuana is created by its main active ingredient THC, but also by the plant’s several dozen poorly understood cannabinoids. The DEA had banned any drug containing natural or synthetic THC, but has not addressed the cannabinoids. ….DEA will publish in the Federal Register a Final Rule to Temporarily Control these chemicals for at least 12 months with the possibility of a six-month extension. They will be designated as Schedule I substances, the most restrictive category, which is reserved for unsafe, highly abused substances with no medical usage.”
Many Pagan and Shamanic traditions have traditions of mind altering aids to spiritual journeying, and I dare say, some continued practices exist. The development of synthetic cannabinoids presents challenges to all the issues and arguments surrounding consumption of mind altering drugs. Similar to THC, the active agent in marijuana, many chemicals are just different enough to remain unclassified legally even today, after this DEA ban.