More synthetics outlawed ahead of Mardi Gras
BATON ROUGE - State officials announced new bans on several synthetic marijuana mixes Thursday, and said with Mardi Gras around the corner they're worried more kids might try to get access to similar drugs.
The newly-outlawed compounds include "PX 1," "PX 2" and "MDMB-CHMICA." The Department of Health and Hospitals said these designer drugs were sold under the names Blue Diamond and Mojo, and have been linked to recent deaths and numerous hospitalizations in the state.
DHH Secretary Kathy H. Kliebert signed the Emergency Rule Wednesday after consultation with the Louisiana Poison Control Center, State Health Officer Dr. Jimmy Guidry, Louisiana State Police and East Baton Rouge parish law enforcement officials.
Synthetic marijuana has been difficult for health officials to completely ban because manufacturers tweak their chemical makeup regularly in order to skirt around bans. The state took steps a few years back to make it easier for officials to add chemicals to the list of controlled substances in order to quickly counter those changes.
Kliebert said with numerous festivals around the corner, the danger of children getting access to drugs like this increased.
"Retailers won't simply stop selling new versions of these dangerous drugs, so it's important for all of us to be proactive in combating their use," Secretary Kliebert said. "We're doing our best to keep them off the street, but parents should talk to their children about synthetic marijuana now, especially with Mardi Gras and spring break quickly approaching."
You can find out more about the state's efforts to combat synthetic marijuana on DHH's website.