More synthetic marijuana drug busts

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Reporter - Jason Hibbs
Photojournalist - Terry Snell

PADUCAH — Friday felt like déjà vu for a local police drug unit. They seized thousands of dollars in synthetic marijuana from three convenience stores.

You may remember last year, Kentucky banned the sale and use of synthetic marijuana or so called "K-2," but this stuff isn't called K-2.

Each and every package must be sent to a lab for testing but police say they're certian most of it will come back illegal. Then comes the prosecution. The war on synthetic marijuana is proving tougher than the war on the real thing.

The labels clearly say "not intended for human consumption" but Sergeant William Gilbert with Paducah Police knows better.

"Hydro, 420, kush, those are all street terms in referencing marijuana," Gilbert said.

This is a slightly different form of the same stuff that police have confiscated before and it's certianly not incense.

"Normal incense is sold on a stick, maybe a dollar for five or something like that," Gilbert said.

This product is sold in grams and one small package will cost you $30 to $70.

Friday, Paducah Police busted not one, not two, but three Paducah stores selling synthetic marijuana. At one store, which also features adult items, police arrested 25-year-old Shane Myers, who they say was high and had his pockets full of synthetic marijuana.

"He was obviously intoxicated by something. He had $100 worth of product that he purchased," Gilbert said.

Officers also found containers to hide your incense and plenty of pipes and bongs.

One store had been busted before but apparently made too much money off the stuff and restocked their shelves.

"That makes them a drug dealer, not a gas station attendant," Gilbert said.

Police said the war on synthetic marijuana is tough to fight since state law can only ban yesterday's products and tomorrow will bring something new.

What makes synthetic marijuana so dangerous is that no one really knows what's in it and what the long-term health effects are. The sergeant said at least with marijuana, you typically know what you're smoking.

With this stuff, it's a gamble and a very dangerous one at that.

What happens to the stores selling the stuff depends on the what the lab tests reveal and the prosecution. The sergeant said he's not trying to shut down these stores. He simply wants them to stop selling these dangerous drugs.

Paducah Police said if you are caught with these substances, it will be seized, sent to a lab for tests and if the tests reveal it is synthetic marijuana, you will be charged.

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