Huffman, who opposes prohibition in general, doubts that a ban on the substances will keep kids away from it. "We declared marijuana illegal in 1937. The federal government passed the law. Now, that really did a lot of good to keep people from smoking marijuana, didn't it?"
Huffman said that making all the JWH compounds illegal would probably have similar results, but emphasizes that any decision to legalize JWH compounds should hinge on a thorough study of how they affect humans. The DEA currently bans five cannabinoids, including JWH-018 and one other JWH chemical, but Congress is weighing a more sweeping ban.
Huffman does believes marijuana should be legalized, since its effects are known. "It should be sold only to people 21 and older. It should be heavily, heavily taxed."
One of the benefits of decriminalizing marijuana, he said, would be diminishing the allure of its more dangerous substitutes.
"I talked to a marijuana provider from California, a doctor, a physician," explained Huffman, "and he said that in California, that these things are not near the problem they are in the rest of the country simply because they can get marijuana. And marijuana, even for recreational use is quite easy to get in California, and it's essentially decriminalized. And marijuana is not nearly as dangerous as these compounds."
The trouble with trying to keep people from using drugs like Spice, said Huffman, is that "people are going to do what they're going to do," even if some kid is spending "$25 bucks on a bag of green stuff, and he doesn't know what's in it, and he doesn't know what it does."
"You can't tell a 17-year-old anything, because they consider that they're immortal."