View Mobile Site

Don't let warnings fall on deaf ears

Posted: September 22, 2011 8:40 a.m.
Updated: September 26, 2011 5:00 a.m.

The last time I remember reading about something called “K2,” it was probably in a National Geographic article referring to the second-highest mountain on Earth after Mt. Everest. In fact, they are part of the same mountain system, although more than 800 miles apart.

Today’s students are more likely to know K2 as a synthetic marijuana also called Spice than a mountain straddling the Pakistani-Chinese border. I barely knew anything about K2 until the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) started telling me how they believe Nicholas Rivers -- the young man who terrorized one cabbie, shot and killed another and led police on a three-county car chase that only ended when he took his own life -- was addicted to the “fake pot.”

Perhaps because my kids aren’t middle or high school-aged yet, I’ve been protected from knowing much about it.

When I was a kid, the worst thing I knew about was real marijuana. I remember riding a school bus to junior high outside of Washington, D.C., we shared with some high schoolers. One day, we all started noticing this funky smell coming from the back of the bus where the older kids sat. Sure enough, it turned out a couple of them had some weed and had lit up.

Fast forward a few years. I’m the high school student now and riding a bus home on Saipan in the western Pacific. Suddenly, I’m overwhelmed -- sickened -- by the odor and second-hand effects of marijuana. I convinced the bus driver to let me off immediately so I could walk the rest of the way home. A few days later, a classmate offered to have me try some. I said no, and they never bothered me again.

During the 30 years since then, I’ve heard about kids getting off on glue, household solvents and aerosols, and, of course, drinking alcohol.

Today’s parents not only have to worry about all those things their kids might get hold of, but now have “legal” products to contend with as well.

K2 and Spice (apparently different “brands” of the same synthetic marijuana) have been readily available at convenience stores. They may still be, according to folks at the sheriff’s office, despite a Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) temporary emergency action classifying them as Schedule I drugs.

Early this year, I wrote about how South Carolina’s push to ban alcoholic energy drinks started right here in Camden. As lawmakers moved, so did store owners, taking the drinks off the shelves. I hope retailers are doing the same with K2.

Meanwhile, some places are moving ahead of the feds and banning K2 themselves. Kansas, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Missouri, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Illinois and Michigan (in that order) have all banned the “fake pot.” Oregon has taken action similar to the DEA’s, and New Jersey, New York, Florida, Indiana and Ohio are all considering bans.

Last Tuesday night, our neighbors in Columbia passed first reading of an ordinance banning the use, purchase, sale or possession of not only K2, but something misleadingly called “bath salts” or “plant food” within the city limits. (Richland County is planning to do the same, as a joint effort with Columbia.)

“Bath salts” is the street name for a drug with a name so long it’s referred to by the acronym MPDV. To let you know how hard it might be for a parent to know if his kid is messing with this stuff, here’s a list of the other names it’s known as:

MDPK, MTV, Magic, Maddie Black Rob, Super Coke and PV. Not enough? How about the names it’s marketed under: Aura, Blue Silk Bonzai Grow, Charge Plus, Euphoria, Hurricane Charlie, Ivory Wave, Lovey Dovey, Ocean, Pixie Dust, Red Dove, Scarface, Vanilla Sky, White Dove, White Girl and White Lightning. Keep in mind, I got all that from Wikipedia, but judging how well the entry is documented, I’m leaning toward saying the article’s legit.

MPDV looks something like powdered white or yellowish-tan sugar. According to Columbia City Council’s ordinance, MPDV produces a similar high to cocaine and meth. My research around the Internet shows it has so many harmful physiological and psychological effects that the bad far outweighs any “high” someone could possibly be seeking.

On top of that, one drug rehabilitation professional told a Columbia TV station that people can become addicted to “bath salts” after just one use.


Here’s the deal, folks: sometimes, we don’t like to read stories about violence, murder and suicide to our kids. This is one of the few times I’m going to ask you to go back and find copies of our Sept. 19 and 21 issues and read them to your children. Read this column to them.

Share with them our entire community’s concern about K2, Spice and bath salts. Tell them while they may be smart enough to stay away from real marijuana and real cocaine, they need to stay away from these “legal” products, too.

The DEA’s moving to take emergency action on bath salts, too. That doesn’t mean greedy people wanting to make money off our kids’ naivety won’t find some way to keep this crud out there.

Don’t let this warning fall on deaf ears. In this case, ears are deaf if no one tries warning them in the first place. Amazingly, kids are both smarter than we think and, simultaneously, more naive than they can afford.

Let’s help them out before it’s too late.

Interested in viewing premium content?

A subscription is required before viewing this article and other premium content.

Already a registered member and have a subscription?

If you have already purchased a subscription, please log in to view the full article.

Are you registered, but do not have a subscription?

If you are a registed user and would like to purchase a subscription, log in to view a list of available subscriptions.

Interested in becoming a registered member and purchasing a subscription?

Join our community today by registering for a FREE account. Once you have registered for a FREE account, click SUBSCRIBE NOW to purchase access to premium content.

Membership Benefits

  • Instant access to creating Blogs, Photo Albums, and Event listings.
  • Email alerts with the latest news.
  • Access to commenting on articles.

Contents of this site are © Copyright 2014 Chronicle Independent All rights reserved. Privacy policy and Terms of service

Powered by
Morris Technology
Please wait ...