Real Poison, Diet PCP, and More New Names for 'Synthetic Marijuana'

Even calling the toxic junk 'spice' is being too nice.

Twenty people overdosed on "synthetic marijuana" in Pennsylvania last week. The toxic potpourri responsible for the human suffering was reportedly branded "Darkness." When will people stop doing this bathtub-lab drug? Why are the people doing it at all? Beyond that, why does the media, or anyone else, still  refer to the chemically doused leaves and dust as anything even resembling cannabis? The weed-adjacent nomenclature makes "spice" sound safer than it actually is. And could give real weed a worse reputation that it already has. 

From the Associated Press

"[Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico] is investigating and putting out an alert after 20 people overdosed on synthetic marijuana in and around Pennsylvania’s state capital city. . .  Emergency room doctors are reporting users have experienced advanced stages of delirium and some have had to be revived, including one that wound up in intensive care." 

What happened in Pennsylvania is not an isolated incident. In New York City, there have been more than 6,000 synthetic cannabinoid-related hospital visits since 2015, and two spice-caused-deaths, according to the city's health department. Posters containing the different brand names the poison is sold under, and the message "0 percent marijuana. 100 percent dangerous," are placed throughout the city. In Los Angeles, where pre-rolled spice joints are sold on the street for as little as $1-per, 15 people living on the city's Downtown Skid Row overdosed in one weekend earlier this year, according to the L.A. Times

One of the posters distributed by NYC health.

Real artificial tetrahydrocannabinol, or "synthetic marijuana," does exist, to help people. Sold under the brand name, Marinol––droabinol is approved as a Schedule III substance by the Food and Drug Administration

Keeping this information in mind, let's forget about Darkness, or Green Giant,  or Crazy Monkey. Let's stop referring to the lethal chemicals giving weed a bad name as "spice" or "K2."

Feel free to use these names instead:

Image via Flickr

Real Poison

We call it like we see it. The chemical mixture on this stuff is always changing as each individual element of the recipe is banned. 

Image via Flickr

Diet PCP

Remember the scene from Friday, where Smoky (played by a young Chris Tucker) "gets wet," and acts a fool in the back of a convertible? The joint he was hitting beforehand was laced with PCP, or angel dust. Diet Coke is not any better than original Coca Cola; it's bad in its own unique way. Think of the sugar in OG coke as angel dust; then Diet Coke's aspartame is "synthetic marijuana." 

Image via Flickr

Dirty Dog Grass

Nobody would reasonably be down to smoke some "Dirty Dog Grass," like that bitter-smelling lawn going all un-mellow yellow at the dog park. Well. Hopefully not. If anyone is smoking Dirty Dog Grass, that person shouldn't be your friend.

Image via Flickr

Walking Dead

The effects of Diet PCP on humans who smoke it have been described as "zombie-like." Maybe we'll hold off on employing this fresh moniker until the hit AMC series pitting human against human, set against the backdrop of an undead-infested, rural Georgia, airs its final season. But you get the picture. 

Image via Flickr


"Get your pre-rolled poop joints for only $1. Get em' while they're hot!" 

And there you have it. The KIND grants permission to national media, municipalities all across the land, virtually anyone, to use these new and improved brand names from now on, when describing the synthetic junk. Call it whatever you want for all we care. Just don't call it weed.