APD Alerts Public to Synthetic Marijuana Threat
15 potential overdoses in last 23 hours
By Brandon Watson,
3:30PM, Thu. May 1, 2014
The Austin Police Department sent out a bulletin this afternoon alerting the public to a potential health risk in synthetic marijuana. The APD and Austin Travis County EMS responded to 15 possible overdoses on synthetic marijuana in the last 23 hour period.
According to the APD, "All of the subjects became unconscious or unresponsive. After waking up, several of the subjects were disoriented and violent."
Synthetic marijuana, also known as K2 or Spice, combines shredded plant matter with cannabinoid compounds. The most frequently used five compounds have been designated as Schedule I controlled substances by the DEA. Although a ban on the sale, manufacture, and possession of K2 went into effect in 2011, the drug is still relatively easy to obtain – contributing to its popularity among high-schoolers.
The APD has not determined what caused the alleged overdoses. Narcotic Unit detectives are testing the drug for lacing and trying to determine the source.