New, dangerous forms of spice have local officials on alert

Law enforcement officials are cracking down on new forms of spice, hallucinogenic and potentially deadly substances now surfacing in prisons, military bases and even schools in Hawaii in slick packaging like Hysteria, Black Sabbath and Brain Freeze.

“A lot of these are flavored so they have the smell of mango (or) lemon,” said Keith Kamita, Narcotics Enforcement Division. “That’s why they call it a potpourri. But it’s a deadly one.

“We’ve already gotten calls in some of our public schools that they’ve seized some of these drugs and we’ve analyzed it and we know that it is some of these newer compounds.”

On February 10, the Drug Enforcement Administration issued a final order to list four new synthetic cannabinoids as “schedule I controlled substances.” These drugs first surfaced in Hawaii last November.

The drugs, which are more than 10 times as potent as marijuana, are being produced and packaged in China and across the U.S., then smuggled to Hawaii where they’re sold at paraphernalia shops to young adults and military personnel.

“What we’ve seen with these guys is they’ll be hallucinating and they go into panic mode and they jump off things, jump out of windows,” Kamita said. “We’re seeing cases ending up in our hospital emergency rooms when they’re reporting that they ingested some type of substance and they find a packet and it’s spice.”

Kamita says no one has died from these substances in Hawaii yet. He aims to have them illegal in Hawaii by next month.

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