By Cierra Putman
MIDESSA - There's a new drug sweeping through West Texas. It's basically fake pot, but it's legal and much stronger than marijuana.
One man who smokes the stuff talked to NewsWest 9 and to a drug abuse center that says it's down right dangerous.
K2, Blaze, Spice - they're all names for synthetic marijuana. Here in the Permian Basin, just about anyone can buy it.
"We are aware that they're selling it in some tobacco shops around the Permian Basin area," Sonny Blake with the Palmer Drug Abuse Program, said.
They're a mixture of herbs and spices sprayed with a hallucinogenic.
The packages claim they're incense not to be consumed, but one local man, who asked us to call him Marvin, is smoking it.
"It's extremely similar to smoking cannabis at least to me it is," Marvin said. "There are different reactions for different people but it's kind of a relaxing goofy feeling."
Marvin smoked the stuff for the first time last week.
While he hasn't had any bad experiences others have.
"There have been reports across the country of teens that end up in the hospital as a result of the hallucinations and delusional affects that happen," Blake said. "So, those symptoms alone affect the entire family as addiction itself affects the entire family."
Vomiting and panic attacks are some other side effects, not to mention it's 10 times stronger than pot.
Sonny Blake, with the Palmer Drug Abuse Program says even though it's legal, it's not safe.
For about $30, NewsWest 9 was able to buy 3 grams of K2 and Blaze two popular synthetic marijuana. If you look at it closely, it looks a lot like the illegal stuff but according to our sources, it's about half the price of high grade marijuana.
Marvin said the price and other another key factor make it an alternative to pot.
"Just anybody who's kind of ever had a hankering for cannabis but not willing to go out and break the law," Marvin said.
Critics would like to see it disappear from the shelves.
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