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Dealers Already Finding Ways Around New Synthetic Drug Ban

By WBZ-TV Chief Correspondent Joe Shortsleeve
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WBZ-TV's Joe Shortsleeve Joe Shortsleeve
Joe Shortsleeve is chief correspondent for WBZ-TV News weekdays a...
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BOSTON (CBS) – Synthetic drugs can cause a dangerous high, even resulting in a fatality.

A new federal law just went into effect to crack down on these drugs, but there are concerns the drug dealers are already figuring out how to get around these new restrictions.

15-year-old Alejandro Avila experimented with a drug called “2C-B” and ending up dying. His mother said he went into cardiac arrest and never regained consciousness.

A quick search of YouTube reveals the severe hallucinations and powerful psychedelic trips these drugs can cause.

Lt. Detective Robert Merner, who heads the drug unit for the Boston Police, said there is no way for a user to really know what they are taking. “There are many closest chemists, if you will, manufacturing these things, mixing some of these substances and experimenting, and that is part of the biggest danger.”

Many of these drugs are easy to find on the web. Jackie Long, a former narcotics officer said, “All you need is a credit card. You can go on the Internet and buy up to a kilogram of these compounds.”

These drugs are also sold in head shops near college campuses.

Last July, President Obama signed the Synthetic Drug Ban Bill which made 31 of these substances illegal as of the first of the year. This included such things as K2 and Bath Salts.

But dealers are now changing their formulas to get around the ban.

An undercover Sudbury detective said there are other loopholes, like marking the product “not for human consumption.”

“Therefore the FDA has not control over it,” he added.

Sudbury detectives just made a huge bust at a convenience store right along busy Rt. 20. They found dozens of vials of synthetic drugs, as well as assorted paraphernalia.

“A juvenile overdosed,” said the Sudbury Detective. He added Sudbury is a great suburban community, but that they have issues with drugs just like any town.

That’s because even good kids like Alejandro can be curious, and unfortunately, think they are invincible.

“He promised me one time he would never use drugs,” his mother said tearfully.

Another challenge for law enforcement is to keep track of all the trends.

In Boston, we were told a new drug called Bizzaro is gaining in popularity. The police are also wondering if another new drug, called ‘smiles’ will pop up, as it has in New York and Southern New England.

A Massachusetts state senator plans to file a bill which would make it harder for drug dealers to skirt the new ban by changing the ingredients they use.

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