CHATTANOOGA,TN, (WDEF)- Synthetic marijuana is cheap, dangerous and is now available at many of our local gas stations.
Brad Byerly, DEA Chattanooga
,"Several ongoing investigations right now my office not only covers East Tennessee but North Georgia we see a lot of in north Georgia and south east Tennessee"
At Arc Point Labs experts say it will not show up in regular urine and drugs tests due to the complexity of its chemical make up.
Ed Coffey, CEO and President,"These products that are coming into the market place, the compounds are constantly changing and so its very challenging to have a test for every single type of synthetic compound that is getting produced"
Coffey says most of the products are being made by chemists overseas and the drugs have the potential to put you in a coma.
they say the treatment of synthetic marijuana is similar to that of alcoholism due to its availability.
Shaine Brooks, CADAS,"When someone's drug of choice is at the local gas station you know it makes it a little more difficult, so we have to focus on triggers emotional, external as well as internal triggers"
Greg Roberts of the Tennessee Highway Patrol
, says the drugs have only been surfacing at traffic stops and vehicle searches in the past 5 years but are highly dangerous.
"That are being peddled illegally have the potential to kill you, but these synthetic drugs that have come on in recent years are probably the worst thing that we have seen as far as illegal drugs are concerned"
The last major seizure of synthetic marijuana in our area was made in Dalton just three months ago.
Ed Coffey of Arc Point Labs
added that due to the low cost of synthetic marijuana it's becoming a drug of choice for teenagers.
He advises parents to talk to their children about the drug which has a much higher THC level that regular pot.