Kaua‘i police busts Lihu‘e smoke shop

LIHU‘E — Kaua‘i Police Department seized numerous illegal substances and drug paraphernalia from a retailer on Monday in Lihu‘e, according to county officials.

Following a four-month investigation, KPD served a search warrant to owners of Dream Electronics Cigarette shop around 10:30 a.m. Monday. Two officers from the state’s Narcotics Enforcement Division were on hand for support, states a county press release.

The officers seized synthetic cannabinoids, synthetic ecstasy and synthetic cocaine in addition to several bongs, smoking pipes and other drug paraphernalia.

“Sophisticated marketing tactics have led to the increased use of these illegal substances among children, and most parents would never suspect some of these products to be illegal,” KPD Assistant Chief Roy Asher said in the release. “As parents, guardians and role models to our youth, it is important that we are aware of what is happening in and around our home so that we can take the necessary steps to prevent drug abuse.”

The investigation into this incident remains ongoing at this time.

Police are alerting the community that Monday’s bust is an indication that synthetic cannabinoids, synthetic stimulants and similar products may be present and to be on the look-out. These and other products are commonly targeted to youth and found in tobacco shops or on the Internet.

Synthetic cannabinoids, also known as “Spice” or “K2,” is a mixture of herbs and spices and is typically sprayed with a synthetic compound chemically similar to THC, the psychoactive ingredients in marijuana.

Synthetic stimulants, commonly referred to as “bath salts,” mimic the effects of cocaine and can be sold in a powder form or in tablet or capsule form.

“Being that these are ‘synthetic’ drugs, people get a false sense of security that they are legal and safe and that’s simply not the case,” Asher said. “These products lead to the same adverse health effects as the drugs they mimic, such as anxiety, seizures, hallucinations, paranoid behavior and non-responsiveness.”

Calls to the Dream Electronics Cigarette shop in Lihu‘e, O‘ahu and the Mainland office went unanswered at press time.

The Drug Enforcement Administration reports a significant increase in the use of these substances in recent years.

Synthetic cannabinoids and stimulants are now designated as Schedule 1 substances under the Controlled Substance Act, thereby making the distribution, marketing or possession of such products illegal unless authorized by law.

Locally, KPD works closely with Life’s Choices Kaua‘i, formerly the Anti-Drug Office, in helping to combat alcohol and drug abuse among our keiki.

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