Last updated: October 03. 2013 3:12PM - 573 Views
Taylor Pardue Staff Reporter

Synthetic marijuana, left, is compared to a bud of natural marijuana, right.
Synthetic marijuana, left, is compared to a bud of natural marijuana, right.
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It’s not quite the real deal, but it’ll get someone high.

Synthetic cannabinoid, or artificial marijuana, landed a North Wilkesboro man with drug charges in Jonesville Monday.

Domingo Lara Jr., 21, was found to be in possession of the drug in the Jonesville McDonalds’ parking lot Sept. 30 at 12:54 a.m. Jonesville Police found Lara to be in possession of .01 ounces of the drug, a misdemeanor offense.

Lara was charged with one misdemeanor charge of possession of seven grams or less of synthetic cannabinoid and a misdemeanor charge of drug paraphernalia possession.

He was cited and released for the incident and has a court date of Nov. 13 in Yadkinville.

The drug goes by a variety of names, each more creative than the last.

“Spice,” “K2” [like the mountain K2, the second highest in the world], “No More Mr. Guy,” and many other labels have been attached to synthetic pot.

The American Association of Poison Control Centers warns that the man-made marijuana is even more dangerous than its natural equivalent.

Synthetic pot has been known to cause seizures, psychotic episodes, severe agitation and anxiety, higher blood pressure, vomiting, intense hallucinations, suicidal thoughts or actions — the list of side-effects stretches on like the different names for the drug.

The AAPCC first saw the drug’s effects show up in 2009. Since then 5,228 calls have been put in to poison control centers across the country concerning the drug — in 2012 alone.

According to an article in the Huffington Post, synthetic marijuana has the “high” effect from marijuana’s THC component but none of the medical benefits. It also listed the drug as the second most used illicit drug among high school seniors.

The Huffington Post said the man credited with the drug’s creation — scientist John W. Huffman — was quoted by the Los Angeles Times in 2011 as saying: “These things are dangerous — anybody who uses them is playing Russian roulette.”

Huffman reportedly created the drug as part of a federal grant to study the effects of drugs on receptors in the brains of lab animals.

Reach Taylor Pardue at 835-1513 ext. 15, or tpardue@civitasmedia.com.

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