A Smokable Weed Creates a Buzz in Israel 

A Smokable Weed Creates a Buzz in Israel 
Posted by FoM on September 23, 1999 at 05:55:29 PT
By Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times
Source: Boston Globe
JERUSALEM Uri Falcha was strolling down Venice Beach in Southern California one day three years ago. And he hit upon an idea.
Falcha saw street vendors peddling organically grown weeds that looked like marijuana, that smelled like marijuana and, supposedly, that gave the high of marijuana, but without the cannabis.His first attempt at bringing some of the stuff home to Israel landed him in jail at the Tel Aviv airport.Today, after doing battle with the legal establishment, Falcha is peddling his own version of a smokable weed called Buzz.Buzz has become all the rage among Israelis in search of a legal high and willing to experiment. When he launched the product over the summer, Falcha figured he would introduce a month's supply in Tel Aviv kiosks and see what happened.The month's supply - 20,000 packets weighing one-fifth of an ounce each and costing about $10 - sold out in three days.That is not surprising in a country where a political party called Green Leaf, dedicated to the decriminalization of marijuana, almost won enough votes in May to take a seat in parliament.''We came with a legal product to a huge market that has no legal product,'' said Falcha, 41. ''The rule we broke is it's the first time you can smoke something, get high, and still be legal.''In fact, that was Falcha's main hurdle in marketing Buzz - to prove it was legit. He sent a sample to the police laboratory, which analyzed the substance and said it contained no illicit drugs.Cool, thought Falcha. He even used the police certificate in his ads.Uncool, said the police, who wanted no part of his marketing scheme. They had certified the sample, but they weren't endorsing the product. After some angry phone calls and letters, Falcha dropped use of the police seal, although every Buzz package does contain the news that the police have judged the product legal.''You smoke it only when you want to have a good time and feel relaxed,'' said Falcha, a former grocer with long black hair who favors bolo ties and leather boots.What does Buzz contain? Catnip, wild lettuce opium, and passion flower, among other ingredients, but no nicotine, Falcha said. Herb expert Varro E. Tyler describes wild lettuce opium as a ''venerable fraud''; similarly, he said, catnip has no known psychedelic properties. The US Food and Drug Administration has not included passion flower on the list of foods or dietary supplements generally regarded as safe.In Israel, Buzz comes in a little green package decorated with a large cannabis leaf. The buzz on Buzz is that it is milder than pot but produces a similar high for some smokers.JERUSALEM - Uri Falcha gets Buzz, a smokable weed that he says produces a legal high, from a Los Angeles company named Temple of Ecstacy Corp., which has marketed a product known as Herbal Ecstacy. A dietary supplement, Herbal Ecstacy ran into trouble with the Food and Drug Administration because it contained ephedrine, an organic stimulant banned in two states. Herbal Ecstacy was discontinued, and Buzz contains no ephedrine, company president Benjamin Bright said.Bright said that Buzz, under various names, is being sold in Japan and Australia and is coming soon to the United States. But he said Falcha's marketing of Buzz - ''as legal marijuana'' - won't work here. LOS ANGELES TIMESThis story ran on page A12 of the Boston Globe on 09/23/99.  Copyright 1999 Globe Newspaper Company. 
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Comment #2 posted by SAM on September 05, 2000 at 20:00:17 PT:
opium lettuce
Where can I get some of this stuff???? or opium lettuce????Or any legal buzzzzz
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Comment #1 posted by shane on April 11, 2000 at 16:49:54 PT:
wild lettuce opium
its already in the U.S. i bought some the other day.
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