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Well heck, it looks harmless enough. And it IS legal.

I roll the green leaves in my hand, smell the herbal sweetness of it.

Ordinarily, I like to get into my stories. Check out everything. And so, when I decided to write about K2 (read it here), a potent synthetic cannibinoid that's legal in most states, I was tempted to smoke the stuff, just so I could tell you what it was like.

How bad could it be? People smoke this every day ...

But I can't stop flashing back to the picture of that sweet-faced Iowa kid, David Rozga, who panicked after using this stuff and killed himself. I think about talking to David's dad. How his heartbroken voice made my heart cramp. I think about what he said: You can try this stuff 20 times and be OK, and on the 21st time you can lose your mind on it.

Somehow, this is more terrifying to me than prisons and crack houses. See, when you enter a dangerous situation, you always imagine that you could run away if things went bad. But how do you get out when the danger is inside you?

The mind has no escape routes. David found that out the worst way.

I pour the green stuff back into its shiny packet and tape the top shut.

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