The Texas Attorney General's office is starting a web page and taking other steps to deal with the growing problem of fake drugs in Texas, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Assistant Attorney General Rick Berlin tells 1200 WOAI's Morgan Montalvo says in many cases, especially fake marijuana, which goes by street names like 'spice' and 'K-2', the phony drugs can be far more dangerous than the real thing.
"The law changed in September of 2015 and we were seeing a real problem on the streets," he said, referring to a law that outlawed the open sale of chemical marijuana, and granted prosecutors more leeway in pursuing cases. "Since that time, I think it has become more difficult to purchase over the counter."
Law enforcement officials say fake marijuana, which involve a mixture of chemicals instead of the natural ingredients found in real pot, can be far more dangerous, and it is also frequently cheaper than buying real marijuana. Fake pot is blamed for blackouts, psychotic episodes, and it has even been blamed or the increase in panhandling in San Antonio.
Berlin says the problem is that many people mistakenly think its safer than pot.
"Synthetic marijuana is not at all like marijuana," he said. "Anybody who goes in thinking they are going to have a similar experience is really putting themselves at great risk."
Another problem with synthetic marijuana: since it is made up of a wide variety of chemicals, frequently ranging from drain cleaners to horse tranquilizers, all the seller has to do is tweak the chemical formula, and it no longer fits the classification of an illegal drug.