Dear Guest, 'mother of two teens',
Welcome to the club of parents concerned about these mind- and mood-altering substances. You ask how it is possible for anyone to go into local gas stations and purchase these substances. The city ordinance is very specific, as is the state law, about what compounds are prohibited from being consumed. Many of the products that are surfacing now are versions of K2; that is the ingredients have been altered to be in compliance, yes to be in compliance, with the city or state laws.
Some of the products surfacing as of late are:
B2, Urban Kaos, Tutti Frutti, Mumba, Voodoo, Bob Marley, and Cloud 9, and there are others.
Most brands have been tested, and as the new brands surface, samples are confiscated and are sent to be tested by the State Police Lab. I have learned that the actual testing is very time consuming, upwards of four hours per compound to be tested.
Our Vice and Narcotics division responds to many complaints of the various products that are surfacing. Often, we find that the products have previously been tested and found to be in compliance with local and state codes. However, should anyone be in possession of or selling any product having the prohibited ingredients, they can be arrested for possession of or dealing in a controlled substance.
My best advice to you at this time, just as Guest 'Kuruptsoul' advises to talk with your son, is to maintain an open line of communication with your teenager(s), and have a healthy dialogue about any and all substances that alter the mood or mind. This will not be the last time that they will be tempted to experiment with such substances and it is best to arm them with good decision making skills so that they can make educated and informed decisions. As you can see, banning a substance or making it illegal doesn't mean that it will not surface in some other form, and it does not guarantee that it will not be consumed or ingested.