Gov. Bobby Jindal and officials with the Louisiana Department of Health (DHH), and Louisiana State Police (LSP) announced the ban of multiple new synthetic marijuana compounds called "PX 1," "PX 2" and "MDMB-CHMICA" this week. Designer drugs, sold under names such as Blue Diemond and Mojo, have been linked to recent deaths and numerous hospitalizations in Louisiana hospitals in the past few months.
The ban adds full chemical compounds N-(1-amino-3-phenyl-1-oxopropan-2-yl)-1-(5-fluoropentyl)-1H-indole-3-carboxamide, N-(1-amino-3-phenyl-1-oxopropan-2-yl)-1-(5-fluoropentyl)-1H-indazole-3-carboxamide and methyl 2-(1-(cyclohexylmethyl)-1H-indole-3-carboxamido)-3,3-dimethylbutanoate to the list of Schedule 1 Controlled Dangerous Substances.
LDH Secretary Kathy H. Kliebert signed the Emergency Rule Wednesday after consultation with the Louisiana Poison Control Center, State Health Officer Dr. Jimmy Guidry, Louisiana State Police and East Baton Rouge parish law enforcement officials.
Gov. Jindal said, "Banning these new compounds is another step to help protect our children from these deadly drugs. Law enforcement agencies are aggressively cracking down on perpetrators across the state, and we are sending a clear message that the sale of these dangerous drugs will not be tolerated."
"Retailers won't simply stop selling new versions of these dangerous drugs, so it's important for all of us to be proactive in combating their use," Secretary Kliebert said. "We're doing our best to keep them off the street, but parents should talk to their children about synthetic marijuana now, especially with Mardi Gras and spring break quickly approaching."
PX 1, PX 2 and MDMB-CHMICA are the latest in a series of synthetic marijuana compounds that have been banned in Louisiana. The effort to add new compounds to the list of Schedule 1 controlled substances is done through a partnership of LDH, LSP, the Louisiana Poison Control Center, local hospitals, crime labs and parish coroners' offices.
For a copy of the emergency rule, click here.
"Synthetic drugs have proven to be a devastating element in our communities," said Colonel Mike Edmonson, State Police Superintendent. "Public safety officials must remain proactive in removing these dangerous drugs from our streets through the efforts of our State Police Crime Lab, criminal investigators, uniformed patrol and our partners at the Department of Health and Louisiana Poison Control Center."
"We need to continue adding these dangerous synthetic marijuana compounds to our list of banned substances, but it's important for consumers to know that all synthetic marijuana can be dangerous," Dr. Guidry said. "Drug makers change the compounds in these drugs as soon as we ban them, so the versions sold in retail stores aren't necessarily safe and could potentially be banned in the future."
"PX 1, PX 2 and MDMB-CHMICA are new drugs that are already suspected in multiple deaths and numerous hospitalizations in Louisiana," said Dr. Mark Ryan, director of the Louisiana Poison Control Center. "We needed to move quickly to regulate these dangerous substances."
PX 1, PX 2 and MDMB-CHMICA have been identified by crime labs in Baton Rouge and Shreveport. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, synthetic cannabinoids, which were first reported in the United States in 2009, are both dangerous and addictive, with health risks including:
- Severe agitation, anxiety and paranoia;
- Fast, racing heartbeat and elevated blood pressure;
- Nausea and vomiting;
- Muscle spasms, seizures and tremors;
- Intense hallucinations and psychotic episodes; and
- Suicidal and other harmful thoughts and/or actions.
These drugs are untested, have no known medicinal value and as such there is no accepted dose. The pharmacology and toxicity of these substances is mostly unknown. Poison Control Centers have received over 17,000 calls related to synthetic cannabinoids since 2010.
The Louisiana Department of Health strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state citizens. To learn more about LDH, visit http://www.dhh.louisiana.gov. For up-to-date health information, news and emergency updates, follow DHH's Twitter account and Facebook.