Synthetic marijuana being handed over before it becomes illegal Tuesday

Drug busts took place Monday night

BOCA RATON, Fla. - At midnight on Tuesday, a drug used by thousands of Palm Beach area residents to get high will become illegal.

The DEA's ban on synthetic marijuana was approved late last year.

A Boca Raton company made a version of the product called "Mary Joy." Their lawyer, Thomas Wright, said it stopped making the fake marijuana when the ban went into effect.

On Monday night, they turned in to the police what they had left.

"This product is sold as an incense, yet apparently people are smoking it," said Wright.

Wright says the fake grass was made by dumping chemicals into cement mixers. The DEA says the resulting product, when smoked, caused hundreds of people to have dangerous symptoms, like seizures.

"The DEA is taking a position that if something is misused, then we have to ban it. We see a problem in that because the science behind the ban is entirely flawed," said Wright.

Wright insists that there's no conclusive evidence that shows this drug reacts with people the way marijuana and alcohol do. But he says the person who owned Mary Joy, who he's not identifying, is trying to do the right thing, by turning in this half-a-million dollar cache of phony pot.

"There are other people in the network who used to sell this and everybody is doing the same thing: they're all making arrangements to have it destroyed, turned into local authorities, whatever needs to be done, because obviously they don't want to face felony charges," said Wright.

Fake marijuana is already banned in thirteen states.

The ban is expected to be in place for a year, until the DEA and FDA can decide how to go forward.


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