by Victor Lopez
WEST TEXAS--The DEA has made it illegal to buy, sell or have it in your possession. But not everyone in West Texas is obeying the law.
Even though the nationwide, K2 ban went into effect on Tuesday. So NewsWest 9 went out on Wednesday to see if we could find some. You might be surprised to know, it didn't take us long to find it.
"As of March 1, yesterday, the substances known as K2 and Spice, are now a scheduled control substance, under federal law," Agent Dante Sorianello, with the Midland DEA, said.
Until now, K2, Spice and products like them, were the legal alternative for getting high. Mainly because they were being sold as one thing but being used like another.
"It was commonly being sold, at a variety of locations, as an incense. However, people were using it and smoking it, like you would smoke marijuana, as it is a synthetic type of marijuana, although it is chemically produced," Sorianello explained.
You had to be 18 to buy it, since it was sold in smoke shops, head shops and adult entertainment locations.
According to Agent Sorianello, "All these businesses were notified, many months ago, that these substances would be illegal."
NewsWest 9 wanted to see if we could still find some on the shelves. NewsWest 9 Chief Photographer Jay Vigil went in to a West Odessa business, was showed the product and told how much it cost. What normally sold for $50 was going for $39.
Needless to say, they were surprised to see him, minutes later, with me and a camera in hand.
"Did you know you tried to sell my photographer an illegal substance? Did you know K2 is illegal? It's been banned by the DEA" NewsWest 9 asked.
The employees didn't have much to say. When asked if there was someone who would talk to us, we were asked to leave.
"Do you have the name and number of the owners?" NewsWest 9 asked
"(you need to leave)" an employee told NewsWest 9.
Agent Sorianello says they're not going to go out and perform surprise raids on homes and businesses, but they are going to enforce the K2 ban, "If we receive information that someone is distributing the substance, we will conduct an investigation then they will be subject to arrest and fines."
DEA officials want to remind you, if you get pulled over for a routine traffic stop and authorities find K2 on you or in your car, you're breaking federal law and are subject to federal penalties.