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HOT TOPICS: Drug and Alcohol Treatment  Heroin

Despite Ban, Synthetic Drugs Are Still Sold Legally

Synthetic drug manufacturers stay one step ahead of legislation by developing new chemical variants.

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A Scooby Snax cartoon label beckons young
buyers. Photo via

By Luke Walker

01/10/12

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Another teenage death has been linked to the use of the synthetic drug widely known as K2. Logan Matthew Kushner, a 19-year-old from Florida, and his friend were smoking the synthetic "herbal incense" at around 2:30 am Sunday morning. Kushner drowned in a creek within hours. Although the DEA recently banned synthetics drugs, also known as incense and bath salts, in addition to several of the active chemicals used to produce them, new variants of the drug have circumvented the ban. They're marketed under different brand names and contain chemicals that have so far remained legal. The fast-moving evolution of synthetic drug development reflects a budding industry of great adaptability that's used to staying ahead of the law. The new variants can still be commonly found in convenience stores and gas stations nationwide, marketed under enticing names like "Scooby Snax Potpourri"—which was discovered on sale at a gas station near the latest incident.

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