Gov. Bobby Jindal and officials with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH), and Louisiana State Police (LSP) announced the ban of a new synthetic marijuana compound called "MAB-CHMINACA" today. The designer drug, sold under names such as Mojo and Spice, has been associated with more than 125 residents seeking treatment at Baton Rouge-area hospitals since Oct. 3. The ban adds the full chemical compound N-(1-amino-3,3-dimethyl-1-oxobutan-2-yl)-1-(cyclohexylmethyl)-1H-indazole-3-carboxamide to the list of Schedule 1 Controlled Dangerous Substances.
LDH Secretary Kathy H. Kliebert signed the Emergency Rule this afternoon, 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, "We must continue working with law enforcement to stop the sale of these dangerous drugs, and banning this new compound will help keep these deadly substances off of our streets and out of the hands of our children. We know drug dealers will continue working to try and come up with new strains to sell to our young people, which is why we must remain vigilant and continue taking every step available to crack down on the sale of these substances. We want all of the criminals who are selling or thinking of selling these dangerous drugs to know - we will find you. We will stop at nothing to protect our people, and you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for selling these deadly drugs."
Secretary Kliebert said, "I will not hesitate to ban these dangerous substances as long as retailers continue to put our youth at risk by stocking them on their shelves. They have no legitimate use and there is no excuse for the drug dealers who continue to hide behind store counters by staying one step ahead of the law."
"Synthetic drugs have proven to be a devastating element in our communities," stated Louisiana State Police Superintendent Colonel Mike Edmonson. "The Louisiana State Police is committed to removing these dangerous drugs from our streets through the dedication and hard work of our State Police Crime Lab, Narcotics Investigators, uniformed patrol, and partners at the Department of Health and Louisiana Poison Control Center."
Dr. Guidry said, "Synthetic marijuana is just that, synthetic. It is a toxic dose of chemicals mixed in labs and sold under names like Mojo and Spice, but it is not natural nor is it safe. I'm incredibly grateful for the guidance of Louisiana Poison Control and law enforcement across Louisiana who have helped us to identify this new compound. Working together is essential to the protecting our residents from dangerous designer drugs."
Dr. Mark Ryan, director of the Louisiana Poison Control Center said, "MAB-CHMINACA is a very new drug that's putting some users in the intensive care unit. It deserved our quick action to regulate it".
Dr. Beau Clark, East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner said, "Synthetic marijuana is poison. As a practicing physician and a law enforcement official, I strongly urge the public to avoid any kind of designer drug, especially the toxic synthetic marijuana products being peddled to Louisiana youth. I also believe that anyone who distributes this poison for financial gain should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
The ban of MAB-CHMINACA is latest in a series of synthetic marijuana compounds banned in Louisiana. LDH banned the first set of synthetic marijuana compounds in March 2014 and banned an additional two in July 2014. 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 corner's offices.
For a copy of the emergency rule, click here.
MAB-CHMINACA has been identified by crime labs in Baton Rouge and Shreveport. The compound was being sold legally under street names of Spice, Mojo, K2 and Scooby Snax. 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.