WDAY: The News Leader

Published November 15, 2010, 10:31 AM

School administrators dealing with legal drug problem

Detroit Lakes, Minn. (WDAY TV) - You can find it online and in Tobacco shops across the country and now administrators are finding it on school property. It is a drug that some Minnesota school officials believe is becoming a big problem.

It's called JWH-108: Synthetic cannabis that is being marketed as incense. School officials in Detroit Lakes have discovered it's affecting a wide range of people, from high school athletes to middle schoolers.

Angie Horner: "I’m afraid that a young person will use too much of it and will have some consequences that are very dangerous and maybe even die before people realize it's a problem."

Horner said there are two tobacco shops in the Detroit Lakes area that sell the substance as incense. One shop acknowledged they have heard the item can be misused, but they sell it as incense and it says on the package the item is not for consumption.

Horner: “The kids aren't burning it to see how pretty it smells, they're using it to get a high; to get a dangerous high."

School officials tell me the substance can be more than 20-times more portent than THC, the chemical found in Marijuana. And some students are noticing changes in the behavior of some fellow classmates.

Maxwell Molacek: "They're not really paying attention. They're really careless. I don't know they're dangerous.”

But right now, all school officials can do is inform parents and caution students.

Horner: "I’m hoping to go to the city council so we can get a ban against that in our community."

Currently the JWH-108 chemical is illegal in 15 states including North Dakota. Right now, Minnesota law allows the cities to decide if it's legal or not.

“No different than possessing a bag of carrots. It's not yet illegal and the state is trying to pass a bill or statute to make it illegal, but it takes time.”

Horner plans to hold an informational meeting for parents before the end of the semester.