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Hope Star - Hope, AR
  • K2 the new drug evil

  • It is spreading like cancer; and, like a cancer metastasizes, K2 takes on many different forms, but at its root is the same chemical that makes marijuana addictive and dangerous.
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  • It is spreading like cancer; and, like a cancer metastasizes, K2 takes on many different forms, but at its root is the same chemical that makes marijuana addictive and dangerous.
    Three juveniles in Blevins were rushed to hospitals in Hope and Arkadelphia on March 13 after ingesting a form of K2 by smoking it. At last report, the effects on the three boys, in their cases, severe illness and seizures, were still under investigation.
    Apparently, they got them all to the hospital quickly enough,” Hempstead County Sheriff James Singleton said. “This is the first case we've had people ingest it; we've seen it very rarely.”
    Blevins Superintendent Billy Lee was not available for comment for this story; but, other administrators are concerned about the new drug.
    We haven't got any evidence that it has come here,” Hope Schools Superintendent Bobby Hart said. “It hasn't been an issue; but, like anything else, if it's available, students will experiment.”
    Spring Hill Superintendent Angie Raney said there have been no problems on her campus.
    Taking that situation in Blevins as educators and learning how to protect or kids is what we try to do,” Raney said. “The things that our kids are facing is never-ending.”
    But, the presence of synthesized drugs such as K2 in rural Hempstead County is a bellweather for Arkansas.
    On the same day as the incident in Blevins, investigators from the 13th Judicial District Drug Task Force, Magnolia Police Department, Columbia County Sheriff's Office, and Arkansas State Police concluded a three-month investigation into the distribution of K2 in Columbia County with the arrest of two people.
    It is one of those substances that can be detrimental to the Nnth degree,” Eighth Judicial District-North Prosecuting Attorney Christi McQueen explained. “We're very concerned about this drug having a presence in our schools in Hempstead County.”
    Page 2 of 2 - McQueen said the only experience her office has had with the drug is from a variety that was popularly used in combination with “bath salts” about a year ago. She said an Arkansas State Police trooper stopped a subject who was driving erratically, and it was later learned that a variety of K2 was the cause.
    We had the crime lab analyze it so we could say that it was chemically similar,” McQueen said.
    And, that is the key aspect of K2; it is an ever-changing drug.
    'K2', also known as 'K2 Spice', 'Spice', 'K2 Summit', 'Genie', 'Zohai' and various other names, is an unregulated mixture of dried herbs that are sprayed with a synthetic cannabinoid-like substance and sold as incense,” the Arkansas Board of Health said in a March, 2010, health advisory to doctors in Arkansas. “The product is typically burned and the smoke is inhaled for effect.”
    At that time K2 was a legal substance in Arkansas, as the ABH noted in its advisory; but, in July of the same year, the Board banned the substance in Arkansas, and it was added to the list of controlled substances in the state in 2011.
    The ABH noted in that warning said symptoms of reported K2 use included tachycardia, elevated blood pressure, anxiety, pallor, numbness and tingling, vomiting, agitation, hallucinations, and in some cases tremors or seizures.

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