BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Mary Hughs has a collection of small packs of aroma therapy. They're labeled Black Magic, Blue Diemond, TNT, and Rhino. She says she recently picked up the used packages from the ground, in the parking lots of local smoke shops.
Hughs went to the stores after, she says, her 18-year-old son smoked the contents of Black Magic and got sick.
"When I got home after work Wednesday it was obvious he was on something," Hughs says. "He was hyped up. He really couldn't talk, slurring his words real bad."
Hughs says her son started feeling better a few days later, but on Sunday she says he took a turn for the worst.
"Sweat was pouring off of him and his face was almost purple. It was so red."
She says her son told her he was high on Black Magic.
"I was angry, disgusted, and asked him why. He said he didn't want to die, but he enjoyed it."
Hughs put her frustrations on paper. She wrote a letter to Gov. Bobby Jindal, asking him and other elected officials to put an end to the sale of products such as aroma therapy, which are often mixed with other ingredients used to make synthetic marijuana.
"It's all the same stuff. They're playing loops around us and I just don't get it."
The East Baton Rouge Sheriff's office reports so far this year that narcotics agents seized more than 443 pounds of synthetic marijuana, recovered over $143,000 from stores that were allegedly selling it and arrested 17 people.
The arrests were made after State Police Crime Lab results showed the items agents pulled off the store shelves tested positive for synthetic marijuana.
Hughs says she wants lawmakers to stiffen the penalties so those who are selling synthetic marijuana can't afford to stay open.
"I understand that these kids can buy it on the streets, but that's not as easy as walking into a store and buying it," Hughs says. "We've got to stop this."
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