Artificial marijuana a rising downside at Danville Grownup Detention Heart | Native Information

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has classified the substance as “dangerous and unpredictable”. Synthetic cannabinoids aren’t marijuana, but like THC, they bind to the same cannabinoid receptors in the brain and other organs, according to the CDC website.

Synthetic cannabinoids affect the brain much more than marijuana and, according to the CDC, cause effects such as nausea, anxiety, paranoia, brain swelling, seizures, hallucinations, aggression, palpitations and chest pain.

Synthetic marijuana is illegal in Virginia.

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Andrew Shelton, assistant to the correctional facility at the adult detention center, said there are about five or six inmates who take K2 regularly even after experiencing side effects.

“We have six who do this continuously and have a very adverse reaction,” Shelton said, adding that others have been ingesting the substance as well.

“They get off of it, sometimes they don’t even remember what they did or how they did it or something,” Mardavich said.

Despite measures taken to prevent drugs and paraphernalia from entering the facility, inmates are finding ways to smuggle them into the facility, Mardavich said.

Relatives can smuggle it into hidden books, or the drug can be tossed from a passing vehicle onto the floor near an inmate’s workplace. It can be picked up and hidden in inmates’ vents without regular searches being discovered, Mardavich said.

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