Most parents don't worry about their kids buying dangerous drugs from a clerk at a convenience store or a funky head shop at the mall. Instead, most parents worry about the guy on the corner or in the parked car selling dangerous drugs to their kids. But synthetic drugs that cause devastating effects have been available to purchase legally. Thankfully, a new law outlaws synthetic marijuana and bath salts that have been used to get a legal high and will now land users in jail.
Virginia (VA) Gov. Bob McDonnell signed two bills outlawing the synthetic drugs on Wednesday. The ban takes effect immediately. Synthetic marijuana blends, commonly sold as Spice and K2, are labeled as incense or potpourri. The chemicals are sprayed onto herbs and sold for at least $10 per gram.
The bath salts, sold under names like Ivory Wave and Cloud Nine, are snorted, smoked or injected and mimic the effects of cocaine, ecstasy and LSD. Both have been suspected for overdose deaths and sicknesses nationwide.
The bath salts contain the chemical MDPV, or methylenedioxypyrovalerone, that is toxic to humans. The stimulant affects neurotransmitters in the brain, and using the chemical will cause traumatic side effects such as severe headaches, paranoia, hallucinations and delusions, extreme agitation, high blood pressure, chest pain, and even death in some situations.
Spice or K2 produces effects similar to THC and is three to 28 times more potent. Research has linked naturally produced marijuana to health issues, including schizophrenia. With synthetic marijuana being even more potent, it is frightening to consider its potential damage.
If you feel that your child or loved one was unknowingly harmed or killed as a result of MDPV, it is very important that you consult an attorney. It's sad that it takes government intervention to stop retailers from selling these dangerous drugs. Unfortunetly some prescription drugs are just as dangerous as these street drugs.
One such drug is fentanyl, and fentanyl-related deaths continue to increase each year in Virginia. In 2000, three people died after using fentanyl, but that number spiked to 68 lives lost in 2008. There is also a knockoff version on the streets which has taken the lives of over 1,000 people nationwide since in 2005.
People that sell these drugs to make money no matter what the human cost need to be held responsible for their actions.