(Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)
ST. CLOUD — With over 60 overdoses in a week within Minneapolis, synthetic marijuana has recently seen a large spike in the Twin Cities.
Here in Central Minnesota, the drug, more commonly known as K2 or Spice isn’t as large a concern, however, authorities are keeping an eye out.
Steve Soyka is the Commander of the Central Minnesota Violent Offender’s Task Force. He says they usually see about a month’s worth of time before it spreads to our area.
“Typically what we see, even on a larger scale, drug trends or fads if you will, start on the east or west coasts so we can see them a good month or two before they make it to the central part of the U.S.”
He says while there is not much of it in the St. Cloud area yet, there are challenges in finding synthetic drugs.
“Difference is, marijuana is going to smell like marijuana, the synthetic stuff is not going to have quite that smell. Obviously, a synthetic drug of any kind isn’t ‘nature made’ so we just look for those kinds of differences in our investigations.”
Commander Soyka says people will also take dried tobacco, soak it in lemon pledge or another chemical, and smoke that as well.
Synthetic marijuana can cause heart palpitations, panic attacks and delusions. None of the over 60 reported overdoses in the Twin Cities were fatal.
State authorities say regulation is tough because drug manufacturers regularly change recipes to get around laws and detection. Minnesota Poison Control says there is no antidote for overdosing on synthetic drugs.
The Associated Press Contributed to this story.