Some students hospitalized from ingesting synthetic marijuana

ASCENSION PARISH, LA (WAFB) - At least half a dozen high school students from Ascension Parish were recently rushed to the hospital. Some were critically ill from ingesting synthetic marijuana.

The drugs are illegal in law, but makers have found a loophole.

The Ascension Sheriff's Office is trying to get the word out on how dangerous these drugs can be.

Deputies have taken the drugs off the shelves in recent sweeps. The bags are labeled as potpourri and on each there is a small warning saying not for human consumption.

However Chief Tony Bacala from Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office said human consumption is the only reason people keep making this synthetic marijuana.

"You don't know if you're smoking rat poison or any other substance," said Bacala. "It's whatever somebody decided to mix in their backyard, or in China when they're only concern is making a dollar."

Bacala added that even though they've cleared store shelves of the stuff that gives the same effects as the real stuff, they are finding teenage students are still getting it.

"It's at the bus stop we've seen it. After school we've seen it. During the school day people have gotten sick."

Not just sick, but some need emergency medical attention.

"We probably had half dozen instances in last month," Bacala said.

Bacala compared it to a maddening game of car and mouse between the law and the drug makers.

"For years and years we've had substances that were illegal and now we have backyard chemists who created an industry of trying to stay one step ahead of the law."

Bacala said the bottom line is that kids and parents should know nothing good can come from putting this in their body.

The Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office has found that synthetic drugs can cause hallucinations, paranoia, rapid heartbeat, and suicidal tendencies.

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