Nearly 300 homeless people became ill last month in St. Louis due to the man-made hallucinogen that experts believe is far more dangerous and unpredictable than the real thing. Other outbreaks have occurred in New York City, Los Angeles and Austin, Texas. The homeless are easy targets in a confined area, experts say. The drug is cheap — as little as $1 or $2 for a joint — more difficult to detect in drug tests and is a fast escape from a harsh reality.
It was common for us to see reactions where they were violent, incoherent, sometimes catatonic on the ground. - Austin police Lt. Kurt Thomas
Synthetic marijuana has been around since the late 2000s, packaged under names like K2, Darkness and Mr. Happy. The Drug Enforcement Administration says it is usually a mixture of herbs and spices sprayed with a synthetic compound chemically similar to THC, the psychoactive ingredients in marijuana.
The nation's homeless are proving to be especially susceptible to a new, dirt-cheap version of synthetic marijuana, which leaves users glassy-eyed, aimless, sprawled on streets and sidewalks oblivious to their surroundings or wandering into traffic.
Source: Yahoo News