Police Bust Synthetic Drug Producers

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Law enforcement agencies across the country announced Thursday the results of the first nationwide sting against the producers of synthetic drugs. Police arrested more than 90 people and seized about 5 million packages of drugs.

Synthetic drug use is on the rise, especially among young people.

According to a 2011 survey by the University of Michigan, synthetic marijuana – also known as Spice or K2 – is the second favorite drug among high school seniors. The drugs are highly addictive and sometimes deadly.

Getting the drugs is easy: A teenager at a smoke shop can buy a package the size of airline peanuts for $10. They’re marketed with names like “Zombie Matter”, “Black Magic” and “Scobby Snax”.

“This is packaged just like candy,” said Frank Ortez, a commander with the sheriff’s department in El Paso. “If you look at this, it looks just like a package of Pop Rocks.”

President Obama signed a law this month that prohibits the sale, production and possession of the substances used to make synthetic drugs.

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