Synthetic ‘Pot’ Sold Legally In Central Fla.
CENTRAL FLORIDA — You’ve seen the growhouse arrests and marijuana seized by law enforcement over and over again across Central Florida, but WFTV found a new synthetic form of pot is being sold legally and experts say it’s stronger and more dangerous than the real thing.
WFTV found the underground drug sold legally in Central Florida smoke shops; some brands are ten times more powerful than marijuana.
“I smoked it and it appears like cannabis,” student Carlos Sanabria said.
It’s commonly sold as K-2, but goes by other names. It’s labeled as herbal incense, “not for human consumption.” It contains synthetic THC, the active ingredient in pot. It’s sprayed on herbs, sold in small packets for $30 to $80 and customers buy it to smoke.
WFTV found that three local merchants carried the drug and plenty of local students smoke it.
“I couldn’t think straight. I couldn’t even comprehend my friends’ arguments,” Sanabria said.
Many students learn about the synthetic marijuana through friends or by watching others smoke it on YouTube.
Doctors say the drug has triggered seizures and hallucinations in some patients. It’s so new doctors simply don’t know the long-term effects.
“You’re dealing with an unknown substance. It’s a little bit akin to playing Russian roulette,” Professor John Huffman said.
Huffman is credited with the discovery of the substance in a lab at Clemson University. It was created for research.
“Then, somehow, people got the bright idea of spraying this onto or fixing it with plant material and smoking it,” he said.
DEA agents in Orlando know about the drug, but they can’t stop stores from selling it or even selling it to children.
“Not being illegal at this time or not controlled still doesn’t make it less dangerous,” Orlando DEA agent Steven Collins explained.
Drug counselors say a growing number of patients are smoking it.
“This is easy to obtain, if you have the money. And, secondly, it’s not detectable in a drug screening. But it is addictive. It is a dangerous drug,” drug counselor Dr. Robert Margolis said.
And, so far, state lawmakers are not doing anything to stop it.
“One day you may have an affect or euphoria or the same feeling you might get from marijuana and the next day you could find yourself passed out,” Collins said.
There is currently no legislation to ban synthetic marijuana in Florida. The DEA says it is in the process of labeling it a controlled substance so it can be regulated.
Pulled From: http://www.wftv.com