Experts warn about synthetic marijuana
BATON ROUGE - State drug experts met Friday in Baton Rouge to urge people to stay away from synthetic marijuana.
The multi-billion dollar synthetic pot industry poses a physical and mental health threat, but it's marketed toward teens and young adults, according to the Capital Area Human Services.
East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner William "Beau" Clark and Rebecca Nugent with the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab explained the dangers of synthetic marijuana.
"What it causes in people is psychosis, things that you wouldn't want to feel. Most people don't want their heart to beat really fast and their blood pressure to go really high and for them to hear voices and see things that aren't there," said Clark.
Experts said sometimes they don't really know what synthetic marijuana could do to someone, that it can affect each person differently. Clark says long-term effects are unknown. Authorities are trying to crack down on the problem, but it's still growing across the U. S.
"They're continually manipulating these molecules to different forms," said Nugent. "So the adverse effects are going to continue to increase."
State Police said synthetic marijuana may pass cocaine as the second-most submitted drug to the state crime lab.
We'll have more on the dangers of synthetic marijuana on News 2 throughout the day.