from the editor’s desk

From the editor’s desk for April 18, 2013

April 17, 2013 

Hey man, you got any synthetic joints?

When I presented this week’s cover story in Surge’s weekly editorial meeting, it was met with some raised eyebrows.

I proposed that we gather members of the Surge team and our trusty band of teammates known as correspondents and test drive some synthetic marijuana and report the results, a round-table smoke ‘em up if you will..

Does it really get you high?

Does Pink Floyd sound even better than usual?

Is it a similar high as the Real McCoy?

Then I pitched the idea to my trusty band of freelancers…and only got one bite, but correspondent Derrick Bracey was ready and willing.

I saw an alt-weekly newspaper in weed-friendly Colorado perform such a smoke-test awhile back and thought it’d be something envelope-pushing that we could do here, especially as the unofficial stoner’s holiday, 4:20 approached, and with fake weed making headlines along the Grand Strand recently with some local teens getting busted for it – and at least one local municipality crafting an ordinance to ban it.

Then I backed off and said our writer wasn’t required to smoke the stuff – I can just see the legal dept. of our parent company having a cow over that – but I still wanted to delve into the topic of synthetic marijuana and its appeal and popularity – and its apparent threat to our way of life here in our sunny, seaside paradise, as 4:20 is upon us again (it’s Saturday in case you’re too stoned to own a calendar)

We’ve written about the proliferation of the sweet leaf along the Grand Strand many times in our six-and-a-half years, the efforts to legalize it in the Palmetto State and last year at this very time we delved into the counter culture holiday known as 4:20 – but what about phony marijuan-y?

I was intrigued and genuinely intended to give it a whirl – but then I started reading the reports about it making people ill.

With a wife and two small children that depend on me, the last thing I need is to become unnecessarily sick making myself a High Times guinea pig – so, I’ll go ahead and admit it, I chickened out.

But not before seeking some counsel and conversation with a local stoner, who shall remain anonymous. I expected hardcore stoners to scoff at Spice and K2, two of the popular names for synthetic marijuana, but my source said it’s not too bad - in limited doses. My source said the high doesn’t last very long, no more than an hour, but if you over indulge it can make you very disoriented and uncomfortable. Ultimately, my source said, if you don’t over do it and don’t drive or doing anything dangerous, it’s fairly harmless.

But that’s not what folks who battle drug abuse, health officials, cops and parents of children who have abused the substances say. And let me be clear - I’m not advocating the smoking of this stuff, as I wouldn’t suggest you huff paint or glue either.

It’s a somewhat sticky subject and all part of a legal cat and mouse game, so Bracey’s report, attempts to dig deeper and go beyond the mainstream media headlines that scream “Teen narrowly escapes death after smoking synthetic marijuana!”

And would you believe that synthetic marijuana’s history can be traced to the Palmetto State? And speaking of local ties, whatever happened to the local chapter of NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) which seemed to be thriving last April? Check our News & Views section for an update.

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Kent Kimes, Editor

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