Dangerous High Legal on the Streets | NBC Connecticut

Dangerous High Legal on the Streets



    Some teenagers are smoking K2 as an alternative to marijuana, even though the incense is labeled as "not for human consumption."

    “He had to go to the hospital,” said Sally Coriano. “He was just not right in his mind. He was not even there.”

    Coriano said that’s what happened to her 20-year-old son, James. At the time she had no idea what caused him to lose his state of mind. Doctors told her that her son wasn't getting enough oxygen to his brain.

    “As a parent that's very scary,” said Coriano.  Sally soon found out what caused the scare was a product called K2. It's marketed as incense, it even says 'Not for Consumption' on the label but many young people are using it as a substitute for pot.

    “It's like a pretty good high, it's better than weed,” said one Hartford resident.

    It's sold under the names K2, K3 or Spice and found in places like convenience stores. A one-gram bag costs about $10.

    “There's no purpose to it other than using it as a drug of abuse or for altering perceptions,” said Hartford Hospital Toxicologist Dr. Charles McKay. “It shouldn't be out there.”

    Dr. McKay said there's been an increase in K2 related visits. He says the side effects are worse than marijuana.  “It tends to cause a more rapid heart rate,” said Dr. McKay. “It tends to cause more nausea and vomiting.”

    Sally said her son admits that trying K2 was a big mistake. She believes that parents should know the dangers.  “It says on the packages do not consume, so why are you selling them to the kids for them to consume it,” said Coriano. “It shouldn't be sold. It shouldn't be sold.”

    This drug is still legal here in the U.S. but is not regulated. It has been banned in many European countries.