Missouri State Sen. Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia) wants to ban K2, an artificial alternative to marijuana. Having passed the Senate Judiciary Committee, and a companion bill passing in the House, yesterday SB887 passed an initial test in the Senate. A final vote is still required. I don’t recall statements from Gov. Jay Nixon on this issue, but my guess is that he would sign such a measure.
There are a variety of reasons not to smoke K2, chief among them that not much is known, scientifically, about its short and long term effects on the user. However, before lawmakers rush to ban this questionable substance – and Schaefer’s bill, like similar measures passed in Pettis County and St. Charles County, contains an emergency implementation clause – let’s consider one of the direct causes of its existence and proliferation.
Obviously, that would be the prohibition of marijuana. K2 is in demand because it is a legal, available and effective substitute for the organic original, cannabis. To address a problem by banning a substance, itself the result of banning another substance, is an exercise in questionable logic, to say the least. It may make about as much sense as smoking either of the substances in question!
Schaefer seems sincere, and no doubt much of the concern is well-intentioned. Yet, I think before lawmakers rush to action, it would be wise to consider how we got here. Oddly enough, anti-K2 activists haven’t seemed to talk much about why we are confronted by this emerging issue.