Synthetic marijuana seems to be on the rise in Opelousas. In the past year, the police department made more than 200 arrests.
According to police, part of the problem is how easy it is to buy the drugs.
Police say people are buying the drugs online on websites like Amazon. It’s originally labeled as incense, but once it’s ingested it turns into something dangerous.
“They become very strong, paranoid and any little thing will tick them off,” Sgt. Brandon Harris said.
That experience isn’t a rare occurrence for Opelousas police, Harris, who is with the special operations division, says in the past year the department has responded to calls at least three to four times a week.
“We have confirmed that you can order the substance online from Amazon,” Harris said. “When they get it back here, they put the chemicals on it and it makes it an illegal substance.”
Those chemicals known as spice or k2 are sprayed on plants and sold. The packaging normally says not for human consumption. However, in reality, that’s what it’s used for.
According to the DEA there are at least 90 of those synthetic chemicals used to mimic the effects of marijuana or cocaine.
While the marijuana is fake, police say it’s a very real issue
“According to some of the people we’ve come in contact with they say it’s very addictive and they have to have this substance every day,” Harris said.
If caught with it, you face the same penalties as marijuana.