NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - By Donna McCollum - email
NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Encountering adults stoned on dope and alcohol is all in a day's work for Constable Jason Bridges. One of his goals is to keep kids off the stuff.
For a long time, he's known about the abuse of K2 herbal incense, but just didn't see it around East Texas. That changed this summer.
"They were two different traffic stops that involved teenage kids, high school kids and we found this inside their vehicle and that started us asking around and being concerned about it," Bridges said.
Bridges found, as we did, K2 and similar products in some convenience stores and tattoo parlors. It's a big seller.
"Every day we sell some of it. Every day," merchant Donald Everage said.
Bridges has his doubts the buyers are into aromatherapy. He suspects they smoke the stuff for a high up to five times greater than marijuana. The danger lies in the side effects.
"Research shows teenagers going into actual comas over this and there's been quite a few," Bridges said. "Rapid heart rate, paranoia, hallucinogens."
Thirty to about 75 bucks buys you a pack. Management at one store says they don't sell to kids, but they could if they wanted to.
There are also warnings it shouldn't be consumed, but who pays attention to that? Popular demand is why the store stocks it in the first place.
Soon, k2 and similar products may be history. Bridges would like parents to fight for its ban in East Texas communities, so he won't be finding the kids, like some adults, dangerously stoned.
So far, Lufkin and Nacogdoches have yet to consider an ordinance banning K2. Legislation to ban its sale will be introduced next session in Texas. The constable is providing pamphlets on the fake weed to schools and parents.'