Synthetic drug dangers

Synthetic drug dangers

Amarillo, TX - Even after Texas state legislators tried to eradicate the use of a dangerous drug, makers of synthetic marijuana are finding ways around the law.

People in our area claim it is currently being sold in Amarillo to people of any age.

Right now it is being called K2 but the ingredients in the synthetic marijuana keep changing it comes with terrifying health effects.

The drug is five times more powerful than marijuana, causes confusion, hallucinations, vomiting and, in some cases, heart attacks and even comas.

It is estimated that 11% of high school students did k2 in the 2011.

LaVisa Matthews with Impact Futures says K2 has now reached all of the schools in our area.

"This stuff is being sold to poor kids, wealthy kids, it is in Amarillo High, it is in Tascosa, it is in Canyon, it is in PD, it is in all the schools"

A teen, Jon Payne, who was addicted to K2 for years says a lot of teenagers have no idea how bad K2 is for your body.

"They think that is safer and they are told that because it is legal that it is not going to actually do anything and it is actually safer than marijuana and all this other stuff. And really it is just another whole other drug and that is just starting to get out and it is killing people everyday."

Jim Cameron who works for a drug education youth program says there is a common misconception that K2 is in the same league as marijuana.

"There is a whole lot of propaganda about it being an undetectable safe version of marijuana.It is in the same class of drugs and LSD and PCP. I mean we are not talking about a little thing. If you wouldn't go drop acid then don't do K2.

NewsChannel 10 has received some calls about a shop possibly distributing a K2 like substance in Amarillo.

Some nearby residents say the store Planet X in the 700 block of Bell street is drawing crime to the area.

"I mean if you will actually go over and park near them. You can just watch these people and you will literally count one every minute it averages out every minute ...  and they are in there for about 25 seconds ... everyone knows what they are doing"

James Farren successfully shut down a business called Up In Smoke for selling K2 and the shop owner, James Medina, has now been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

"you are using it to do a terrible thing, and that is to sell poison to our friends and loved ones. We don't want you in Randall county, go somewhere else, and if you come here we are going to arrest you and prosecute you."

Matthews says to get K2 out of the Panhandle completely, more people need to get involved in the community.

"Call you local DA because they are the ones that have the true power. Law enforcement that is what they do enforce laws. But it is the prosecutors that make or brake the case."

Payne says K2 is being sold right here in the panhandle and parents need to question their kids if they suspect any sort of drug use.

"If your son comes in with red eyes and you ask him what is going on and he says that his eye itches or he has allergies, don't believe him. Check his pockets, look in his room, all the time. That is going to save his life."

Payne attributes getting in trouble for saving him from K2.

"You know you love your kid, you don't want to get them in trouble, you don't want to call the police ... but if you don't call the police, you are enabling them. If you don't do something about it you are enabling them...and the only way I got help is getting in trouble, so it was really good that my mom did do what she had to do"

Jon was addicted to K2 for about 3 1/2 years.

He has now been clean for almost 2 and now dedicates his time to educate people about the dangers of this drug.