Houston A Synthetic Pot Center; DEA Seizes 1 Million Packets in Two Years


More than 1 million packets of a dangerous, unpredictable new breed of synthetic marijuana were seized in the Houston area by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in the past two years, yet criminal charges are rare for those who make, sell or use them, the Houston Chronicle reports. The packets, sold as potpourri or incense, are among the more popular brands taking center stage in a new front in the war on drugs.

Glossy packets of strawberry-flavored “Kush” lie in a lighted glass display case, just past the bongs and pipes, at a local shop. The mixture inside looks like dried, finely crushed green leaves. It is smoked like pot but packs a far different punch — and is fueling the never-ending search for ways to get high. “This is a new frontier for drugs and drug traffickers,” said DEA spokesman Rusty Payne. “I want to shout it from the roof tops: This is nasty stuff.” Despite pressure from law enforcement, users don’t have to go to underground dealers to score. They visit smoke shops and convenience stores that sell the products.

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