Warning for parents on new synthetic marijuana substance - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Warning for parents on new synthetic marijuana substance

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BIRMINGHAM - AL -

Birmingham Police are sending out a warning for parents after a big drug bust. It's a drug that's posing a challenge for law enforcement officers. Officers seized about $45,000 in synthetic marijuana. Just over a year ago, the substance-- known as Spice-- was made illegal.  Police would not say where the fake pot was seized but now they're sending a warning to parents. 

It may look like a toy or candy... 

"Our main focus is to alert parents as to what may be coming into their homes,"Sgt. Johnny Williams, Birmingham Police said.

But underneath, what is sometimes called "Scooby Snax" is the mind altering substance, law enforcement is after.

"I've purchased snacks for my kids that have this particular character on it," Sgt. Williams said. "It's really concerning that kids may associate this with something that is edible and this is actually dangerous to their body."

"The information I'm getting is that it's killing a lot of the adults," Captain David Peacock, Alcoholic Beverage Control Board said. "I'm not a doctor, but I would certainly think it would be more dangerous for a child to ingest something like that than an adult."

Birmingham Police and the ABC Board say the manufacturers are constantly changing the formulas - trying to make the synthetic drug legal. The danger is that each packet contains a different chemical - even though they have the same label. The effects can mirror that of methamphetamine. 

"You may buy something that is Scooby Snax one week, and the stuff in the same package the next time you try it could be completely different," Peacock said.

Jefferson County deputies are dealing with the fake pot too. They say, most of the stores who sell it keep it hidden and only sell it to people they recognize. It means narcotics units must make undercover deals in order to find the suspects. But that's not where their investigations end. Next they must send it off to the State Department of Forensics and wait for it to be tested. Only then - can they make an arrest.

"You hear these stories about people just going insane, cannIbalism, just killing themselves, and a lot of times, those stories are tied right into this stuff," Peacock said.

 

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