The FDA raided two Lawrence stores known for selling K2 earlier this month, and coincidentally, these were also the only two stores in Kansas to be represented at legislative hearings on the potential ban (read all about it in this week's Pitch feature story, "Fake
Jon Sloan -- owner of Bouncing Bear Botanicals and apparent K2 distributor for most of the shops selling it in eastern Kansas -- was charged with multiple felonies, including seven counts of unlawful cultivation or distribution of a controlled substance and one for paraphernalia. His assets were frozen, including his six-year-old son's savings account. If he's found guilty, Sloan might not be out until his kid's old enough to buy him a congratulations-on-your-parole beer.
If this is sort of case that gets you righteously pissed, you should check out savejon.org. There you can read Sloan's arguments for yourself, see pictures of his destroyed store, and if you're so inclined contribute to Sloan's defense fund.
Sloan's Web site reports that he's raised $1,025, but the goal is a whopping $200,000 -- to mount a real defense. The guy definitely needs money, since all of his bank accounts are now government property.
Sloan argues what Jefferson County prosecutors call "controlled substances" are actually common plants available at most retail gardening stores around the country.
John Huffman, an organic chemistry professor at Clemson University, is the scientist whose lab developed the synthetic cannabinoids active in K2 that Kansas wants to ban. Huffman says personal use of K2 should be banned since there's no evidence on toxicity. Take it with a grain of salt, since Huffman isn't a legal mind, but here's what someone who knows his drugs thinks.
Huffman writes: "Looking at the list of compounds, I believe that the guy was set up. I know that some of the compounds are schedule 1, but I question whether a plant that contains a trace of a drug is illegal. Particularly if you can buy it at Lowe's. Morning glory seeds???"
Photo by Mike Yoder.