NEW YORK -- "The problem is not going away," New York State Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman stated, talking about the synthetic pot problem exploding in the state and across the country, as Schneiderman announced lawsuits against two firms.
“Surrealistic Sensations” of Erie County, New York and the “Liquid Glass” shop in Nyack were accused of promoting legal highs in their advertising — and selling stuff like e-liquids and drug-laced candy, along with the dried plant material often referred to as K2 or Spice.
The plant material had been marketed as potpourri or incense.
Surrealistic Sensations is an online company, and the Attorney General said it was sending synthetic pot with brand names like ‘Green Giant’ to customers in the Bronx and elsewhere.
The plant material is sprayed with chemical cannabinoids created in China, and they’ve increasingly caused seizures or psychotic reactions in users who smoke the product.
Emergency room visits skyrocketed this summer.
“A tenfold increase!” Schneiderman said.
PIX11 went online to find out more about “Green Giant,”—one of the synthetic marijuana packages that can sell for as little as $5.00 a pack.
Like all the others we’ve told you about, it comes in colorful, mylar, sealed bags—just like brand-names AK-47, Geeked Up, Scooby Snacks, and the better-known K2 and Spice.
PIX 11 even found a YouTube video, where an unseen user calling himself “the herbman 420,” rated the “Green Giant” product, after he had smoked it through a pipe.
“Green Giant herbal potpourri,” he said about the plant material, as he spread it out on a magazine, while sitting on a mattress.
“Smells very like, limey,” he added.
The user then says he’s smoking the stuff “as always.”
He then gives a ranking, using a scale of 1 to 10.
“Potency, 9 out of 10,” the user said. “Taste, 7 out of 10.”
Schneiderman’s lawsuit comes three weeks after federal raids in the Bronx found hundreds of bags of dried, plant material in storage facilities, waiting to be sprayed with the chemical cannabinoids and then packaged for sale in delis and smoke shops.
The bags of plant product found September 16th were enough to make more than 250-thousand packages of the synthetic pot sold in delis.
Many of the addicted users in New York City are homeless or emotionally disturbed.
But nationwide, teens have experimented with the designer drug for several years, sometimes with deadly results.
PIX11 was sent a Facebook video that’s gone viral since its release more than a year ago.
The mother of 19-year old Connor Reid Eckhardt posted it, after her son was declared brain dead in California, shortly after taking one hit of “Spice,”—one of the 600 or so brand names for synthetic pot.
“I’m going to cut some of your hair now, Connor,” the teen’s grieving mother says to her comatose son in his hospital bed, shortly before he was brought to surgery to donate four of his organs.
Eckhardt died in July 2014.
Since then, he’s considered a “News Personality” on Facebook, and his page has more than 238-thousand “likes.”
His mother spreads the word about synthetic pot abuse.
On Monday, she promoted a special report airing on BBC One Scotland.
The name of the special: “The Deadly World of Legal Highs.”