Marijuana is dangerous enough, but now warning bells are sounding about the dangers of knock-off marijuana. The one pulling the hardest on the bell rope may well be Georgia Governor Nathan Deal.
According to Governor Deal, physical harm, violence and death tolls have all risen in tandem with an increase in the use of synthetic marijuana in his state. Synthetic marijuana is typically minced vegetation that has been mixed with certain chemicals which mimic the effects of regular marijuana.
According to recent news reports, concerns over synthetic marijuana hit their peak in Georgia when a 16 year old died last month and use of the drug was implicated. A law quickly passed making it a felony crime to either concoct or sell the drug. The law was carefully written so as to avoid loopholes for under the table pharmacists involved in creating the drug.
Synthetic marijuana has only been on the radar since 2009, so not much analysis has been done to date, but the circumstantial evidence lends credence to the governor’s voiced warning. One official statistic came through the National Institute on Drug Abuse, an agency which conducts a yearly survey on drug use in the country.
The agency only began asking about synthetic marijuana in 2011, but the results of that survey show that more than 10 percent of seniors in high school have used the drug.
Poison Control Center information in Georgia reveals that the drug has been responsible for a marked uptick in critical care hospital admittances and police reports do show a link between violence and death in some cases.
More study needs to be done in order to speak authoritatively on the dangers of this new drug, but a cursory glance at the available information leaves one feeling just at Governor Deal apparently does – ready to sound the bell.