Lawmakers discuss making K2 illegal

It's sold legally as incense or potpourri.

And kids smoke it to get high.

Lawmakers in on the Missouri House Public Safety Committe heard testimony Tuesday about making a product called K2 a controlled substance.

"You're hearing more and more about it, Rep. Ward Franz, (R) West Plains said. There are several instances where some of our children are being injured.

K2 was developed more than a decade ago by scientists at Clemson University for use in drug company research. K2, completely legal synthetic cannabis, is being sold to ten-year-olds in smoke shops and online.

"It's a synthetic drug, Missouri State Troopers Association TMs Brad Thielemier said. We don't know what its, the long-term problems it can cause to people.

There have been no studies of the effects of K2 on human beings. But testing with mice indicates the drug can lower body temperature, induce paralysis, and render the body unable to feel pain.

"Ya know, people say, 'Aw, I smoke won't kill ya, West Plains Detective Shawn Rhoads said. We don't know much about this. It's gonna kill somebody.

Making K2 possession illegal won't eliminate the problem as there is currently no test to determine whether someone is under its influence.

People on probation and parole are tryin' to smoke it now because they think they can get away with it 'cause the testing processes for it...when we send in the urine samples for testing, they're not gonna find it by the tests they're doing now, Missouri Highway Patrol Sgt. Ethan Ahern said.

Columbia's Kurt Schaefer has offered similar legislation in the Missouri Senate to make K2 a controlled substance.