What Is Spice / K2? Get The Facts On Synthetic Marijuana (2018 Update)Last January 19, around The cashier gave him several dozen candy-coloured packets, each containing 1. By the time the cops arrived at the scene, the man had fled. His unusual demand caught decaf coffee while pregnant attention of a few police divisions in the GTA, who thst convenience stores and confiscated Izms supplies. On March 8, Hamilton police charged Adam Wookey, the year-old Toronto man who distributes the legal high that looks like weed across Canada, with trafficking a controlled substance.
Better than Weed: the latest drug craze is a fake version of pot that might even be legal
Last January 19, around The cashier gave him several dozen candy-coloured packets, each containing 1. By the time the cops arrived at the scene, the man had fled. His unusual demand caught the attention of a few police divisions in the GTA, who raided convenience stores and confiscated Izms supplies. On March 8, Hamilton police charged Adam Wookey, the year-old Toronto man who distributes the product across Canada, with trafficking a controlled substance.
Rihanna and Demi Moore allegedly smoke synthetic pot. The Izms dominates the synthetic pot market in the GTA. The contents resemble the shisha tobacco generally used in hookah pipes. You can roll the stuff into a joint, smoke it in a pipe, inhale it using a vaporizer or even bake it into brownies.
Before the recent crackdown, Wookey sold his product at roughly locations across the country—convenience and sex stores as well as gas stations, hemp shops and adult video stores. He says his ultimate goal is to get his products approved and regulated by authorities, just like tobacco and booze. If he is successful and there are many legal experts who believe he has a case , anyone over the age of 18 will be able to pick up a pack of government-sanctioned synthetic spliffs at the corner store.
He lives in a condo on the King West strip—a nondescript dude-lair, decorated only by various Apple products, a big flat-screen TV, a PS3 and a few bottles of good tequila that he brought back from a recent vacation in Cabo San Lucas. His roommate is his best friend from grade school. His girlfriend is a friendly beer rep who looks like she stepped off of the cover of Maxim.
Adam is the grandson of Richard Wookey, the developer who began buying up property in Yorkville in the s and built Hazelton Lanes, transforming a rundown neighbourhood of biker hangouts and rooming houses into a runway for trophy wives and teacup dogs.
The family is wealthy and connected. His mother, Karen, is a TV producer whose recent credits include Intervention Canada and yes, she is well aware of the irony. He attended Rosedale Public School, where he was the captain of the hockey team.
For Grade 7, he entered UCC, where he smoked his first joint. Later, he started selling pot to friends. Drug dealing evolved from a side project into a profession, and by Grade 11, he was making thousands of dollars a week selling pot and cocaine. When most of his friends were filling out university applications, Wookey dropped out of high school and moved into an apartment on Queen East, in Moss Park. His roommate was a year-old bartender named Jesse Gubb—they met through a mutual friend.
Both men had fled the premises. Wookey who says that some, but not all, of the contraband was his pleaded guilty to gun possession and drug trafficking charges.
He was the only one to get arrested. Today, Karen has nothing but respect for Adam and his choices: In early , while awaiting his trial date, Wookey travelled to Bangkok, booking into the Mandarin Oriental hotel. There, he met Matt Bowden, a New Zealand entrepreneur and musician who was travelling with his wife and daughter. Bowden and Wookey struck up a conversation by the pool one day and got together for dinner. Over a Thai feast, followed by cigars and tequila, Bowden told Wookey about his business selling party pills in New Zealand and his attempts to convince government officials to create a regulated market.
Wookey in turn shared his personal struggles—his overall lack of purpose and the very real possibility that he was facing significant jail time. Bowden, who is deeply religious, suggested Wookey invite God into his life; a few days later, he did just that, performing a self-baptism in the hotel pool. He says his spiritual awakening changed everything: On November 1, , four years after his original court appearance, Wookey was sentenced to 22 months in provincial jail.
Justice Denise Bellamy who had received 20 letters of support from upstanding family members and friends, including the lawyer Clayton Ruby warned Wookey that this would be his last opportunity to turn things around. Wookey spent his time in jail reading Hemingway, the Bible and the Dune series.
He also thought about Matt Bowden, who had described Canada as the next logical market for his party pills. Matt bowden today goes by Starboy, the name of his glam-rock alter ego. After two close friends died while taking drugs, he quit his meth habit and began working with a pharmacologist to find a safer alternative to amphetamines. Patients had reported experiencing a prolonged euphoria.
Bowden first marketed his pills to addicts as a meth substitute and eventually to the all-night-partying masses. A study commissioned by the New Zealand government showed that 44 per cent of meth users who switched to BZP managed to successfully kick their more dangerous drug habit. This initial success resulted in a three-year period during which BZP was government regulated in a fashion similar to tobacco required health warnings and maximum dosages on the packaging, a ban on advertising and no selling to minors.
About 20 million pills were sold in New Zealand over six years. And a change in government resulted in increased support for banning the drug. By the time Bowden met Wookey in , it was obvious to him that the pill party in New Zealand was coming to an end, and he was looking for alternative markets.
When his parole ended, he relocated to Vancouver, intent on a fresh start in a new city. An autopsy revealed that the man had also taken MDMA and had a pre-existing heart condition.
Health Canada immediately issued a warning that BZP is a health risk and declared its intent to carry out an assessment of the drug. He spoke with the Star, the CBC, the Globe and various other media outlets, insisting that, for people who were going to use party drugs, his product was a significantly safer option than ecstasy.
Detractors will point to about a dozen deaths and hundreds of emergency room visits that have resulted from mixing BZP with alcohol and other drugs. To which Wookey will shoot back that the same can be said about energy drinks, and at this point no one is talking seriously about banning Red Bull. The fundamental operating principle of the designer drug industry is to stay ahead of the curve: The most common active ingredient in synthetic marijuana, a compound known as JWH, was first engineered in by John W.
Over the course of 20 years, Huffman and his team developed approximately synthetic cannabinoid compounds. No one is sure exactly how JWH and other similar cannabinoids emerged as commercial weed substitutes, only that it happened some time in the early aughties.
Spice, the first known brand name, went on sale in Europe in and was widespread by JWH has been linked to seizures, vomiting, heart palpitations and violent outbursts. The compound is 10 times stronger than typical marijuana. While plenty of pot smokers have turned to the Izms as a legal alternative, at least as many are skeptical of anything created in a lab and would rather focus on the legalization of marijuana.
Last year, Wookey moved back to Toronto and opened an office in the Port Lands. During my first visit in the early spring, a couple of guys were in the middle of the room rolling synthetic marijuana into hundreds of joints—samples that Wookey and his reps hand out to convenience store owners who are interested in selling the product.
About a month after my visit, the trafficking charges against Wookey for his January arrest were stayed. No reason was given, but a stay is typically an indication that the court lacked evidence or justification to convict. Legal weed is officially legal weed. Neither party is precisely right. Until a court rules on it, however, the Izms fall into a legal grey area.
He believes that, for now, Wookey has a strong, if somewhat precarious, case. He says the problem blew up in just a few months between and In Hamilton, a few fired-up parents is enough to get an investigation going. The clerk said he was going to be stocking it very shortly. I gathered a group of friends to share it with.
We agreed to smoke and then go see the new James Franco movie, This Is the End, which seemed like a suitable agenda for a gang of something stoners. Simpson verdict I had quit because being high made me paranoid.
I took four hits and the result was almost total discombobulation. I almost peed myself while laughing uncontrollably at a pre-preview commercial that featured an animated baby version of Mr. During the main attraction, I felt intermittently paranoid, confused and overstimulated.
Or at least I think he did. When I visited another Toronto head shop, an employee tried to steer me away from synthetics. Following the raids earlier in the year, Wookey is back to selling at a few hundred locations. Gay Toronto has been a big market from the beginning. Sales jumped after Wookey and members of his team gave out free samples at Pride Wookey spends most of his days working on brand development and meeting with lawyers.
His new tactic to avoid being hassled by the police is to eliminate the storefront sales and organize a team of associates who earn a profit selling the product to their contacts. The associates will bring in salespeople beneath them to sell more, making Wookey something like an Avon lady. Or a drug dealer. You could be responsible for deaths by writing an irresponsible article, like this. I support victims and their families. I found most of her articles have a similar perspective.
Just wondering if that could be something Sammy Yatin could have taken. Drugs have been around since mankind began, they are not going away any time soon. Simply throwing everyone in jail has not proven to be the solution.
Perhaps society needs to look at drug taking a different way. The way I see things is availability, choice and control. Foremost, humans need to control what they are choosing to take and for those who choose to indulge healthier alternatives need to be available. Adam is simply pioneering a path to those alternatives… and hopefully his products will develop into less harmful choices. There may be some tweaking involved in the strains, and yes his products may not be suitable and perhaps harmful for some at this point, but at least he is taking the initiative to bring forward alternatives.