Duluth last year became the epicenter of a debate over synthetic marijuana. Despite a state ban on the product, the Last Place on Earth store continued to sell the stuff.
Duluth doctors have pushed back against the belief that synthetic pot was not a public health problem.
A report released today from the journal Pediatrics sides squarely with the doctors, making it absolutely clear that the side effects of mock pot are serious and may not be detected by emergency room doctors.
Standard toxicology tests can’t detect synthetic cannabinoids, the report notes, because it takes such a tiny amount of these chemicals to induce euphoria and the other effects that mimic those associated with marijuana use — part of their appeal to young people. Though some testing assays that can detect these substances are commercially available, the authors note, they cost too much for hospitals to use them routinely.
Nationally, the number of calls to poison centers about exposures to synthetic marijuana more than doubled from 2010 to 2011 and may set a new record in 2012.
The “talk to your teens” advice always sounds antiquated and obvious and it’s easy to laugh off anything connected to pot. But this isn’t about a plant or the 60s or what you did in college. This is about chemical poisoning.
— Paul Tosto