PRESTONSBURG — An inspection of a local tobacco shop in Floyd County led to charges against one man, and the impounding of several thousands of dollars worth of synthetic marijuana.
According to Prestonsburg Police Assistant Chief Brian Hall, an investigation into the trafficking of the now-illegal synthetic cannabis led police officers to a tobacco shop owned by Thomas Jeffrey Jones. In the store, officers confiscated several dozen packets of synthetic marijuana with an estimated street value over $22,000.
Particularly disturbing is the packaging of the synthetic drugs, which is obviously marketed to children and adolescents. One package even featured Scooby Doo. Another package states in bold letters, “not for human consumption.”
On April 11 of this year, the Kentucky Legislature created emergency legislation with House Bill 481 to prohibit the trafficking in or possession of synthetic drugs, specifically “synthetic cannabinoids or piperazines,” “synthetic cathinones,” and “synthetic drugs.”
The investigating detective, Trent Combs, said synthetic marijuana has been a significant problem in the area, particularly in the schools. According to Combs, searches have found the drugs in each of the four county high schools.
The effects of synthetic cannabis are not particularly well known. Most state that it produces an effect similar to that of normal cannabis. Other reports have suggested that extremely large doses may cause negative effects not normally associated with cannabis, such as increased agitation and vomiting.
Prestonsburg Police were assisted in their investigation by officials from the Attorney General’s Office.