PHOTO: 26.6 pounds of synthetic marijuana is seized by Arkansas police


Photographs by Pine Bluff Police Department

During a search of a storage unit on Sept. 7, the Pine Bluff Police Department seized a total of 26.6 pounds of synthetic marijuana.

Pine Bluff police on Wednesday announced the seizure of more than 26 pounds of synthetic marijuana, a drug the department says is dangerous and can cause users to become violent and irrational.

During a search of a storage unit on Sept. 7, police seized a total of 26.6 pounds of synthetic marijuana, according to a news release.

Officer Richard Wegner, a police spokesman, said authorities found more than 740 individual packets of synthetic marijuana during the seizure. Some of the containers were 10-gram packets of synthetic marijuana while others were 11-gram packets, he said.

Authorities know the person responsible for the drugs, Wegner said, but that person is not in custody. The department did not identify the suspect Wednesday.

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Wegner said the problems with synthetic marijuana come in spurts in Pine Bluff. Sometimes, he said, police will go half a month responding to two or three calls a day related to synthetic marijuana. Other times, he said, the department will go several days or weeks without a reported case.

"This drug is not safe. Period," he said, mentioning that the substance can cause people to become violent and act irrationally.

According to Wegner, synthetic marijuana is known to be made and packaged overseas, then smuggled into the U.S. for consumption.

The drug is also unpredictable, Wegner said. There are a variety of blends of synthetic marijuana, he said, and while one blend can cause a person to be calm, another blend can cause that person to become violent.

"Each brand is a different chemical composition," he said, mentioning that all blends of the drug are dangerous to users.

Wegner said the term "synthetic marijuana" is a misnomer, leading people to think the drug will have the same effects as regular marijuana.

The investigation, which led to the Sept. 7 seizure, is still ongoing. Wegner declined to discuss any other details of the case.

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Metro on 09/14/2017

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