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In the News: Synthetic Pot Kills in Florida

Now-a-days, spice and other synthetic pot have become extremely popular among teens. So popular in fact that they are even releasing a movie called “Not for Human Consumption,” which is an independent film on synthetic marijuana shot entirely in Florida. Apparently now there is news that synthetic pot kills in Florida.

According to the article written by Christian Crider, Kenneth Robert Sprankle finally lost it while being under the influence of spice. In St. Petersburg he was observed wandering around town with an axe he had stolen from a local fire truck. When the police finally got to him he was charging at them with the axe and an officer fired 5 shots which were fatal. He had moved to Florida from Pennsylvania to try to start his life over; he also suffered from bi-polar and schizophrenia. After coming to Florida, he stopped taking his medication and began frequenting the areas where drugs and dealers were in Williams Park. At some point in all of this craziness, he found synthetic pot and it seemed to all go downhill after that.

Synthetic pot, often referred to as spice, is really a general term for hundreds of synthetic cannabinoid compounds established in the 1980’s by Dr. John W. Huffman and his team of scientists, hoping to treat diseases like multiple sclerosis. Many of the first and second generation compounds, like JWH-018 or JWH-007, bare Huffman’s initials. Later generations of compounds rock names like AKB48, or XLR-11.

Underground manufacturers infuse various herbs like damiana, lavender, and blue lotus in a chemical solution of cannabinoids. They allow the chemicals to evaporate into the herbs. Though this technique has shown to be uneven, creating “hot spots” where chemicals are more concentrated. If you end up smoking a hot spot, strap in because you’re in for the ride of your life! Once their artificial crop is harvested, they put it in a nice little package and give it a brand name like Spice, K-2, Pandora’s Box, Atomic Bomb, Ultra Haze, or Toxic Waste. The desired effects range from a mild high to cracked-out euphoria to mind-blasting hallucinations.

There have been many side-effects from the synthetic cannabis. I personally have a friend who said after he stopped using spice, he literally went into withdrawals as if he had stopped using hardcore drugs. He said he felt like his heart was going to explode out of his chest and only felt normal again after smoking more spice. Basically, smoking spice is like playing Russian roulette with your brain chemistry. Even if you knew every herb and chemical compound in a blend, you wouldn’t be any closer to understanding what will happen if you smoke it.

The DEA and the federal government have started cracking down on the spice and synthetic cannabis and has even added numerous synthetic compounds to the list of the controlled substances act. I mean, they should definitely be cracking down on this already; there are even articles in regards to the synthetic cannabis being linked to strokes. This is a crazy new trend that has popped up everywhere, you can find spice at many head shops and since synthetic pot kills in Florida now hopefully there will be less of it. Even if you’re using something you think is considered ‘legal,’ you still may have a drug problem. It is still unknown which type of synthetic cannabis that Sprankle used; but it is clear that he suffered from mental health problems and previous drug abuse history. The officer who shot him has been cleared of any charges. Instead of using synthetic pot to deal with your issues, try getting help and recovering from your addiction, I promise it is worth it! If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll free 1-800-951-6135.

Sources:

http://www.vice.com/read/floridians-are-losing-their-minds-on-synthetic-cannabis?utm_source=vicefbus

http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2013-11-27/health/fl-synthetic-marijuana-movie-20131126_1_synthetic-marijuana-incense-human-consumption

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/02/synthetic-pot-stroke_n_4373592.html

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