Florida:  A Suwannee County family has taken a stand after seeing the effects that synthetic incense or potpourri have on those who use it.

Charles Dickinson of Live Oak said the fake pot is jeopardizing the health and welfare of our children and society. In an effort to combat the product, Dickinson’s family has started an online petition to prohibit the sale of products with such names as Yum-Yum, Sour-Apple, Blue Twist and Chronic in the state of Florida.

“I have seen firsthand what it can do to people,” Dickinson said. “And I want it banned.”

Many refer to the synthetic incense or potpourri as fake pot or synthetic marijuana. Regardless of the brand, the packages are labeled, “Not for Human Consumption.” However, this warning has been disregarded by many and the products are being used for recreational purposes with a reduced risk of use being detected in drug tests.

According to Dickinson, the use of these products may reduce the risk of a positive drug test, but the other risks involved are what concern him most. Such risk, officials say, include abdominal pain, vomiting, uncontrollable behavior, hallucinations, seizures and even death in some cases.

During a November workshop of the Suwannee County School Board, Suwannee County Sheriff Tony Cameron described the harmful effects of synthetic potpourri and incense.

“There are just so many things that it does, it really has an effect on your cardiovascular system,” Cameron said.

Aromatherapy is the stated purpose of the incense and potpourri packets, which are sold by the gram.

Dickinson is aware of previous bans being placed on certain chemicals used to make the products, but the manufactures have gotten around the bans by changing those chemicals used in the manufacturing process. However, that is not stopping him in his quest to have synthetic pot banned.

“There will be hardcopy petitions in stores and businesses soon,” Dickinson stated in an interview.

Until then, Dickinson encourages others to go online to www.gopetition.com and search for the online version. The petition's titile is: Protect Our KIDS, make K2 or fake weed ILLEGAL! It can be found at http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/protect-our-kids-make-the-legal-illegal.html

According to Dickinson, online signatures will be attached to the hardcopy petition signatures.

Dickinson encourages anyone to email him at thebodyman1983@yahoo.com or Rachel Tillman at lovingtheufc@gmail.com for further information.

“The more signatures, the stronger the message that will be sent to Tallahassee,” Dickinson said.”

One organization dedicated to some form of legalizing drugs stated that the drug law enforcers are playing catch-up and the new drug-producing chemists are way ahead of them.

Though some do continue their quest to remain just on the legal side of the synthetic pot battle and users gain a temporary high from the products, families across America continue to feel the  residual affect that synthetic pot use leaves on them.


Adapted from a story by Jeffry Boatright in the Suwannee Democrat, http://suwanneedemocrat.com/suwannee/x1296868990/Petition-circulating-to-ban-fake-pot