This week’s story on synthetic marijuana, The Straight Dope on Fake Dope, shook out some thoughtful comments from JJIE.Org readers, Facebook and Twitter followers. We’ve also gotten some responses thanks to American Public Media’s Public Insight Network (PIN), more than 100,000 people across the country who have agreed to share their expertise to inform news coverage.
Have at look at what they are saying, and if you have any thoughts, please send them our way.
Also, it seems the adults are eager to talk. Anyone out there still in their teens want to contribute?
Diana, from Washington state, who works with adolescents suffering from addictions, said synthetic pot is easy to find, too easy in her part of the Pacific Northwest.
The stuff is not safe, she says. Adding that, “it is a mind and mood altering chemical that feeds addiction. It does not serve a purpose other than that.”
And, she adds a warning: Be careful and watchful about so-called “bath salts,” a material she compares to “dirty methamphetamine.”
JJIE hears the same and hopes to look into it in the near future.
Elmer, a former corrections officer, a follower of JJIE and a member of the PIN, also says synthetic pot is readily available, “on every street corner, in every gas station.”
It isn’t safe for adults, nor teens, he added.
“An altered mental state is never safe,” he wrote. “The fact that the chemicals and herb mixtures are legal does not make them safe.”
The stuff, Elmer writes, is a problem within some juvenile detention centers and has sometimes led to fights between kids.
A Gerogia resident, he ended by scolding the state Legislature for not acting to quash the sale of the substance.
"Why is the state Legislature so damn stupid and slow? This is a real threat and they worry about getting re-elected to the exclusion of everything else," he wrote.
Also, this YouTube video features a couple of legitimate experts on the subject, Dr. Barry Logan and Dr. Michael Frost, talking about the adverse effects of fake pot. The sound is a little scratchy as the good doctors apparently decided to do the interview in the humming, noisy lab. But it’s worth wading through the ruckus in the background to get the underlying message. Which is, don’t be stupid, don’t do it. High anxiety? Rapid heart rate? Paranoia? Thoughts of suicide? Who needs that.