Utah DEA agents warn of new synthetic drugs

Posted at 8:12 PM, Feb 04, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-04 22:12:10-05

SALT LAKE CITY — Members of the Drug Enforcement Agency in Utah are warning people about some new synthetic drugs they’ve said are targeted toward teens.

Frank Smith of the DEA said these drugs are starting to infiltrate the market, and they could start to appear in Utah soon. The substances are made from synthetic compounds, and they are altered just enough to remain outside the controlled substance list.

Some of these synthetic drugs are called “candy weed,” and they look like Jolly Ranchers. The user sucks on the “candy weed” rather than smoking it.

Smith said these new substances may have more appeal for teens than traditional drugs.

“Drug traffickers are smart businessmen, and they realize that a model where you would have the youth—13 to 18-year-old-kids – it takes away the stigma of smoking marijuana, and they’ll suck on these, what appear to be, Jolly Ranchers.”

Spice and bath salts are other synthetic drugs that have raised concerns. Utah Lawmakers discussed House Bill 52 on Monday–the bill would add both items to the controlled substance list.

The proposal is moving to the Senate floor for a vote.