Nearly 120 people overdose in Texas on synthetic marijuana over 5-day period

Almost 120 people overdosed on synthetic pot in Texas, where it's not illegal. It is illegal in Indiana, but that hasn't stopped some people from using the drug.

Posted on May 7, 2014 at 8:18 a.m.

Authorities in Texas are investigating a string of synthetic marijuana overdoses that hospitalized almost 120 people.

According to local media reports, police believe the overdoses, which happened in Dallas and Austin, are all tied to the same Dallas-based supplier and are waiting on confirmation from toxicology tests.

Synthetic marijuana is legal in Texas, provided the chemical compounds used in the product are not prohibited by law. As one compound is outlawed, manufacturers switch to a new formula which has basically the same effects.

An Indiana law enacted in 2013 made it illegal to possess or sell "a synthetic drug or lookalike substance," meaning that any substance designed to look like or have the same effects as a banned synthetic drug is also illegal.

Before that law went into effect, employees at Faith Mission in Elkhart began testing residents for synthetic marijuana and found themselves confiscating an increasing amount of the drug.

A 13-year-old boy was taken to a hospital in LaPorte in March after police say he smoked synthetic marijuana and was found barefoot and hallucinating several block from his home.

Do you think synthetic marijuana use is still a problem in Elkhart County? If so, what should be done to combat it?


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