Synthetic marijuana is not worth the high

By Postie Editors

Sometimes you have to choose the lesser of two evils.

Take synthetic marijuana versus organic marijuana debate for instance, both of which have been grabbing headlines, especially locally.

In context of the many bizarre incidents related to synthetic marijuana, voting in favor of legalized organic marijuana suddenly doesn’t seem too radical.

Many of these incidents have been local, bringing this drug‘s bizarre effects on its users right at our doorstep.

Several weeks ago, a West Bloomfield grandmother shot and killed her grandson, who has been reported as a K-2 (a brand of synthetic marijuana) user. Another 18-year-old in Bloomfield Township died on a private beach after using the substance on May 26. Tucker Cipriano, who is being accused of killing his father and nearly killing his mother and brother, was also reported as high on K-2 as well.

On June 4, Macomb County officials signed what they described as an emergency order that will ban the sale of synthetic marijuana.

The fact that this virtually unregulated and cryptic drug has slipped under the radar is utterly irresponsible of the government, parents and all store owners who allowed it to be sold.

This is an extremely unpredictable drug and early official studies are revealing some disturbing effects.

The scholarly journal Pediatrics revealed that the American Association of Poison Control Centers received 4,500 calls regarding synthetic marijuana incidents, in a May 19 publication. The report also noted a rise in teens in emergency rooms for synthetic marijuana-related incidents.

The Pediatrics study found symptoms such as fast heartbeats, slow breathing, extreme dizziness, convulsions, profuse sweating and hallucinations.  Joanna Cohen, who co-authored the study, said she is most concerned about the “long term cognition problems, memory loss, and psychosis” that can affect teens in their development.

Perhaps the most alarming fact is that the drug doesn’t show up in most lab tests, causing a twofold problem — kids are more likely to partake, because they aren’t afraid of getting caught, and at the same time, doctors are unable to properly diagnose a victim’s symptoms.

These symptoms and side effects are like nothing seen in marijuana.

As far as the debate over whether marijuana should be legalized or not, it would make more sense to legalize the drug that slows the brain down instead of the one that has sent people into convulsions and hallucinations and can cause potential long-term damage to the brain.

According to reports from MLive, Detroit could be the first Michigan city to legalize pot. In August residents will vote on a law, which, if passed, would allow people 21 and older to possess up to one-ounce of marijuana and smoke it on private property without being arrested and prosecuted.

It doesn’t make sense that organic marijuana is still banned while, as of a few days ago, the crazy synthetic stuff was readily available, and still is in many places.

The staff editorial is written weekly by members of The Oakland Post’s editorial board.