Senator Shapiro Files Comprehensive K2 Legislation

Bill will penalize the manufacture, sale, and possession of this legal, but dangerous synthetic drug

Texas Insider Report: AUSTIN, Texas – This morning, State Senator Florence Shapiro (R-District 8), filed Senate Bill 331, comprehensive legislation to ban K2, an herbal incense laced with synthetic substances similar to THC–the main psychoactive substance found in marijuana.  K2 and similar products are unregulated and being sold legally across Texas in gas stations, smoke shops, and online.

There is mounting anecdotal evidence that K2 can cause significant harm to its users.  In fact, experts claim the health effects of this substance are more harmful than those of marijuana.  The bill filed is the most comprehensive K2 legislation in the nation.  SB 331 will ban statewide the manufacture, sale, and possession of K2.  It aims to make illegal six subclasses of synthetic cannabinoids that street chemists are using to create very dangerous drugs.  The bill is an expansion of synthetic cannabinoids currently in Penalty Group 2.  

Senator Shapiro says, “This herbal incense in name only is having detrimental effects on the people using it–a significant number of whom are young people.”

While many Texas cities have already voted to ban K2, from the Senator’s perspective, a statewide ban remains necessary.

Shapiro adds, “Elected officials have a responsibility to address threats to public health and safety–K2 is a growing threat to both that needs to be tackled before anyone else is harmed.”

Dr. Colin Kane, a pediatric cardiologist from the Dallas area, says of K2, “My main concern is that young people are using this because they believe it is a safe, legal, and undetectable version of marijuana–but it is not safe.  I know of at least three teenagers who have suffered heart attacks after using K2.”

Chief John R. Chancellor, Legislative Committee Chair for the Texas Police Chiefs Association remarks, “We’ve heard from police chiefs across the state about the ills of K2.  We wanted to back a complete bill, one we believed would give us the tools to remove K2 from Texas’ streets.  Senator Shapiro’s bill accomplishes that.”


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  3. More laws are not what we need. It is not the duty of the government to tell people what they can and cannot put into thier bodies. It seems that anything that gives people a buzz is against the law, except alcohol, which affects people’s judgement. Leave it alone, leave it alone. NO MORE SENSLESS LAWS! Next cars will be banned to prevent accidents.

  4. Yeah lets make another drug illegal so the blackmarket dealers can sell to young kids,get fater doe and bring more violence,thats all we need.It won’t make any less people use it.People that smoke mj proved that already lol.It just adds wealth to drug cartels & gangs.And locksup non violent people that happen to use it.Just another wrong way to go about a new drug,didn’t suprise me either.They are dumb when it comes to things like this.

  5. I could be wrong, but something tells me banning it isn’t the solution — kinda like I don’t think banning marijuana is the best way to go either. It’s a sticky issue, for sure.

  6. I think EVERYONE seems to be completely ignorant on this.

    IT IS NOT THESE CHEMICALS or herbal incense that is posing a health/safety THREAT.

    IT is either:

    A)The combinations of herbs and possible interactions/effects; labeled as incense. K2 being the most commonly NAMED marketed incense causing these effects;
    Or B)Toxic by-products, or poorly synthesized compounds, or even unknown compounds on the products.
    Or C)Overdose.

    And banning the substances will NOT end the “problem”.

    It will allow corrupt ‘officials’ to ‘serve’ the substance to the black market(public) and profit from incarceration. Any child can see through Shapiro’s act.

    If she really was concerned about anyone’s safety or health, she would insist emergency decriminalization of cannabis indica in order to stop the synthetic menace, and boost the economy and ecology and health of Texas.

    Where are the real Texans, like Ron Paul?

  7. I find it very disturbing that the K2 issue is distracting so much law enforcement, school district, and media attention from the real societal menace of alcohol and its destructive impact on our families and communities. The alcohol industry has been pushing nationwide bans on K2 and the safer marijuana plant, including Texas.

    Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers has been lobbying for a K2 ban in Indiana. The California Beer & Beverage Distributors came out against Prop. 19 initiative to tax and regulate marijuana in that state. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, there were nearly 51,000 poison calls involving alcoholic beverages in 2008.

    The Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse reports that “alcohol kills five times more teenagers each year than all other drugs combined.”

    It has to be noted that State Senator Florence Shapiro (the lead crusader against K2 in Texas) has been a recipient of a large amount of campaign contributions from the alcohol industry, including $22,500 in the 2008 election cycle and $25,500 in 2006, according to One can’t help but question if it’s appropriate for her to be spokesperson for a statewide ban on K2. Even worse, if a statewide K2 ban gets signed into law, it will be done by Governor Rick Perry, who has accepted nearly $500K from the alcohol industry during the 2010 election cycle.

    Is there any concern about what kind of a message that sends to our youth? Is it more acceptable to drink? No one’s violent on K2, no one has committed a rape or beaten their wife under the influence of K2, no one has died from using too much k2 and there’s no evidence that it is as addictive or impairing as alcohol. It’s important to note that far more Texas cities have bans on alcohol sales than those that have banned K2. It’s clear which Texans perceive as the greater threat and that’s what scares the powerful special interest groups encouraging the use of alcohol. This stuff is not hard to make and it does not show up on drug tests. We need to do a lot more research on this substance before we surrender the K2 market to the drug cartels. Better yet we should legalize the milder plant form of marijuana.

  8. Governments never can or will be successful in legislating GOOD SENSE.
    We need a law to enforce the laws we already have. GOOD LUCK with that:(

  9. The deeper issue is so much more important here.. the role of science and unexpected mis-use of a synthetic legal weed. I simply don’t understand how a ban on K2 will make it safer for anybody… what is needed is a cheap and effect Drug Test that law enforcement can use in the field! Something needs to be done… so I guess this is a first step!

  10. A ban on K2 makes no sense when you look at the results from other States. The K2 manufacturing companies will keep producing variations of the banned ingredients like jwh-018… this sets up a cat-and-mouse game that the drug pushers will win! The saddest think is that there are hundreds of product variations of K2 and dozens of companies that use these “BANS” to increase business sales. Furthermore there are “blackmarts” being created and the street value has just doubled in Texas! Expect more crime and hosiptal beds filled with users smoking dangerous laced grass because they could not order from a reputable seller. Politicians got this one wrong!

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