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Fake marijuana under real fire in Topeka

That didn't take long.

Just a few months after the public became aware of the legal sale of synthetic marijuana in Kansas, state lawmakers have a plan to snuff it out.

Rep. Rob Olson, an Olathe Republican, plans a news conference this afternoon -- the first day of the 2010 session -- to announce legislation criminalizing synthetic cannabinoids like K2.

Available for sale online and at a store in Lawrence, K2 comes in a small pouch for $15 to $30. It's a mix of dried herbs that look like oregano but is laced with chemicals designed to mimic the effects of marijuana.

The active ingredients were manufactured in a lab and are just a few molecules away from the real thing. But right now K2 and similar products are legal -- even though the effects are reportedly similar to pot.

Johnson County police first discovered the drug was being used by ex-convicts on probation. They turned to K2 hoping it wouldn’t show up on drug tests as marijuana. Now police say they're finding it in high schools.

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