POSTED: Thursday, March 20, 2014 - 12:55pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - 2:46pm
BATON ROUGE (NBC33) — The East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner along with several local and state law enforcement agencies issued a warning on Thursday about the dangers of using synthetic marijuana and the potential for criminal and legal action against those caught selling it.
The product is made of untested chemicals that attempt to mimic marijuana. It’s also known by other names such as MOJO, White Widow, King Kong, and Sundown’s Pop It.
Local and state authorities report that the use of synthetic marijuana has already placed several people in the emergency room with life-threatening conditions involving unconsciousness and the need for intensive care and life support.
More than 100 people have been treated in local emergency rooms in the past few weeks as a result of synthetic marijuana use.
According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, synthetic weed, which was first reported in the United States in 2009, has the following health risks including:
- Severe agitation, anxiety and paranoia
- Fast, racing heartbeat and elevated blood pressure
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle spasms, seizures, and tremors
- Intense hallucinations and psychotic episodes
- Suicidal and other harmful thoughts and/or actions
Those selling the product could find themselves with a different sort of problem.
The warning states that sellers will be arrested and will not be able to claim they didn’t know about the possible harm their product can cause.
Agencies are also working with legislators to make sure that any dangerous substances not already included in current laws get added.
But the warning is not just for users and sellers of synthetic marijuana, it’s also for family and friends as well. Agencies encourage everyone to spread the word about the harm that this substance is causing.
The written warning states: “This is not anything to take lightly.”
Anyone with knowledge of a business or location selling these products should call CrimeStoppers at 344-STOP.