Montana

Feb 12, 2013 9:17 PM by Simone DeAlba - MTN News

Synthetic marijuana sometimes sold as "air freshener"

GREAT FALLS - Synthetic drugs are becoming increasingly popular, with synthetic marijuana specifically at the forefront of national discussions after severe medical cases were reported.

It's often marketed as incense, potpourri, and even air freshener.

"They usually say 'not for human consumption' as if that's a way to get around the illegal sale that it's just used as air freshener," Paul Cory of the Great Falls Pre-Release Center noted.

The packets I found on sale ranged in price from $16 to $20, which left me curious: who would pay $20 for air freshener?

"Correct. No one is going to pay $20 for air freshener. I don't do it, you don't do it," Detective Pat Brinkman of the Great Falls Police Department said.

I found out first hand just how easy it is to buy; Poppy's Mini Mart sells the "air freshener" behind its smoking counter.

The only requirement? You must be 18 years old to buy it. We contacted Poppy's owner multiple times, they did not wish to comment.

"A lot of times this stuff is mixed in a bathtub so you get your rough plant materials and you put it in your bathtub. You take your chemicals that come in from wherever you order them from...you saturate it, you mix it around, package it up. There's people that are doing this," Brinkman said.

Synthetic marijuana contains no THC, making it difficult to detect on standard drug tests.

"They tend to market it as if it is natural but it's not. It's produced with chemicals," Cory noted.

The physical harm it can cause can be astounding.

"Seizures to strokes to heart attacks. People have become suicidal from using it, it's a dangerous drug because even the users don't know what chemicals are really involved," Cory said.

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