DHH bans 2 compounds used for synthetic marijuana
BATON ROUGE - The Department of Health and Hospitals added two new synthetic marijuana compounds to the list of banned designer drugs Thursday.
The drugs, commonly called "Train Wreck 2" and "Kali Berry 2", were added to the schedule of Controlled Dangerous Substances after consultation with health and law enforcement officials at the local and state level.
Both compounds, applied to the herbal "potpourri" blends used for synthetic marijuana, are now Schedule 1 controlled substances in Louisiana, placing them in the same category as other "drugs of abuse" with heroin, marijuana and ecstasy.
DHH Secretary Kathy H. Kliebert signed the Emergency Rule on Thursday afternoon, after consultation with the Louisiana Poison Center, State Health Officer, Louisiana State Police and East Baton Rouge parish law enforcement.
Baton Rouge has seen a recent rise in the use of synthetic marijuana use, and Beau Clark, the coroner for East Baton Rouge Parish, said there have already been 200 incidents at BR hospitals related to the drugs in 2014 alone.
Dr. Mark Ryan, director of the Louisiana Poison Control Center said, "I've seen the terrible effects they cause and feel that we must do everything possible to control this problem."
Health risks of synthetic cannabinoids range from anxiety, paranoia and nausea to seizures and episodes of suicidal behavior, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers.
"These are toxic chemicals mixed with no safe acceptable doses. Louisiana residents need to know that synthetic marijuana can kill; it's as simple as that." said State Health Officer Jimmy Guidry.
DHH said they are working with law enforcement to get the drugs off the streets, and will continue their efforts to eliminate new designer drugs that present a danger to the community.