|Does this look anything like weed to you?|
We’ve been saying it for years now: syntheic marijuana is absolutely nothing like real marijuana whatsoever and doesn’t deserve the inaccurate moniker whatsoever.
And it seems the Baton Rouge, Louisana coroner agrees with us.
“This is a poison,” Dr. Beau Clark, East Baton Rouge Parish’s coroner, tells The (Baton Rouge) Advocate. “It’s not really anything like marijuana.”
Clark says that initially the lab-created “synthetic cannabinoids” were close to actual cannabinoids, but that chemists long ago tinkered away with their chemicals and now they aren’t anywhere near close to cannabis.
According to Louisiana officials, the stuff is wildly popular. State toxicology lab reports show that synthetic smokable drugs (we refuse to call it “synthetic marijuana” anymore) are the third most popular substance sent in by police. This year, the stuff is on pace to become more popular than cocaine.
Clark says that nobody in his parish (the equivalent of a county in Louisiana) has died from the stuff yet, but he won’t be surprised when it does.
“The people that are making these compounds … all they care about is making money,” said McGuane, the Crime Lab director. “They have no idea what it’ll do to the person (using it).”
Sadly, synthetic smokable drugs find their popularity largely because of Louisiana’s draconian laws around real marijuana. The stuff is often touted as having a similar buzz to weed without making people fail drug tests. It’s also seen as a “legal” alternative – albeit a truly dangerous one by comparison.
Possession of less than 60 pounds of real marijuana in Louisiana on first offense can get six months in jail and $500 in fines. Second offenses get you five years and a third offense will put you in the slammer for 20 years.