Synthetic drug appears on shelves as incense - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Synthetic drug appears on shelves as incense

A synthetic drug may be illegal to sell in the state of Texas, but it's not completely gone.

K-2 , or synthetic cannabis, has been banned from sale in Texas. A clever repackaging has a similar product on store shelves, and some are trying to get the word out that it is just as dangerous. The product is labeled as incense or potpourri.

"They know K-2 is illegal so they make a reformulation of other ingredients that are similar to K-2, but not quite the same strengths as K-2. And they repackage it and sell it as 'not for human consumption.' It's very dangerous; it can cause loss of brain cells," says Gregg County Sheriff's Office Lieutenant Kirk Haddix.

Charles Murchison of Pritchett says he is leading a movement to educate the public on the dangers of these products.

"The kids that go to the store and buy it and get back in their car, they're driving a 3,000 pound bullet down the road," he says.

Smoking it can create hallucinations, paranoia and violent behavior. By reformulating the ingredients, makers are able to skirt around the law.

"We all know they're selling it for human consumption, but it's not illegal to possess," Haddix says.

"If a kid comes in and wants some potpourri and pack of papers to go with it or a pipe, how smart do you have to be to know what they're going to do with it?" Murchison says.

Murchison's son was hospitalized from smoking the product. He wants those selling it to be held responsible for its effects.

"I want the store owners, managers and clerks held responsible for what happens after the kids buy that and smoke it and get in their car. It's going to kill a lot of people down the line," Murchison says.

Murchison says he is contacting state representatives, hoping to convince them to pass a statewide ban on all of these type of products.

Copyright 2013 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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