News

Synthetic marijuana use puts 3 in hospital, two arrested in York County

Written by Ted Czech | Apr 24, 2015 1:20 PM
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Photo by Wikipedia

Synthetic cannabis

A dangerous strain of synthetic marijuana, known on the streets as "K2" or "Spice," recently has led to the hospitalization of several people, according to the York County District Attorney's Office.

The drug, used mainly by teens and young adults, is known to be marked as incense, herbal mixtures or potpourri in order to mask its true purpose, the office stated in a news release.

After three people were hospitalized Wednesday from synthetic marijuana use, Springettsbury Township Police Department and the York County Drug Task Force arrested Kim Bobbitt, 47, of the 100 block of South Pine Street, York, and Mark Anthony Wood, 47, of the 700 block of East Philadelphia Street, York.

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Synthetic marijuana is also known as K2 or Spice. Image courtesy of Coolidge Youth Coalition. (National Institute on Drug Abuse)

Bobbitt was charged with possession with intent to deliver drugs, while Wood was charged with criminal attempt -- delivery.

"Both were directly responsible for the synthetic cannabinoids sold in the City of York to these individuals who reside in Springettsbury Township," the release states.

Of the three people hospitalized, one was treated and released from an area hospital, while the other two remained there Thursday, according to township Police Chief Dan Stump.

He thanked his detectives, the York County Drug Task Force and the York County District Attorney's Office for their help.

"We were able to get 48 packs of dangerous synthetic drugs off the street before it sent anyone else to the hospital," Stump said. "Unfortunately, we do not know how many other packets have been sold and are amongst our community.

"I would highly encourage all parents to speak with their kids about the dangers of synthetic drugs. A short conversation today could keep your child alive tomorrow."

Poison centers across the country have seen a dramatic increase in calls related to synthetic marijuana - four times the rate of calls in the first four months of the year compared to all of 2014, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers.

Making synthetic marijuana may include spraying a liquid solution -- possibly painkillers, cancer treatment drugs or fertilizers -- onto plant material. As the solution dries, it leaves only the chemical.

"Using these drugs is akin to playing Russian Roulette," according to the release. "Typically, there is no consistency in chemical strength from batch to batch. ... Even though one bag may be relatively weak, the next bag could send someone to the emergency room."

Contact Ted Czech at 717-771-2033.

Symptoms

Someone using synthetic marijuana may have symptoms similar to those of phencyclidine, or PCP, including rapid heart rate, vomiting, agitation, confusion and hallucinations.

Anyone who comes in contact with any form of synthetic cannabinoid is asked to call 911.

About synthetic marijuana

These products contain dried, shredded plant material plus a chemical additive, giving them mind-altering effects, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

The Drug Enforcement Administration has designated the five most frequently found chemicals used in the product as Schedule 1 controlled substances, which means they are illegal to sell, buy or possess.

Related

Drug Task Force: Chanceford Township man making synthetic marijuana in basement

York City Police seize gun, synthetic marijuana from man


This article comes to us through a partnership between York Daily Record and WITF. 

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