Designer drug overdoses are increasing and more young people are winding up in the hospital.
In 2011, two Oklahoma teens died at a party in Konawa in Pontotoc County, Oklahoma. They ingested the synthetic drug 2-Bromo Dragonfly, known to mimic ecstasy.
FOX23 News videojournalist Michael Barber was able to buy three grams of Morpheus Remastered from the Independence Smoke Shop near East Pine and N. Lewis in Tulsa. The product is only used as a prop for the story.
FOX23 News was told the store is on Indian land, so the owner is only required to answer to federal law.
On the packaging it said ‘not for human consumption’ and directions on how to burn it like an incense or potpourri.
However, many users buy it to smoke as a synthetic drug. On November 1st
, dealers or sellers could face capitol murder charges if someone dies from a synthetic drug.
In the last year, high school students in Tahlequah and Broken Arrow and other schools across Oklahoma were overdosing on synthetic drugs.
In the last month, two students at the University of Central Oklahoma were hospitalized after taking synthetic drugs.
Cody Weddle was sentenced to ten years in prison after he entered a blind plea on second degree murder charges involving two students who died after taking Bramo Dragonfly. Six others survived.
"If my kids did that or someone that knew I would want the person responsible for what happened,” said Tulsa mother Teresa McClain. "It's just like going out and shooting someone or killing someone."
That’s why state lawmakers expanded capitol murder to synthetic drug dealers or sellers if anyone dies from a synthetic.
"It's slippery slope, if you are selling it and you know there is a chance that there is an agent in there that could kill someone it's just like a holding a gun,” said Tulsa father Casey Graves.
An 18-year-old boy said he nearly lost a friend after he smoked fake pot.
"He was throwing up and if we didn't get him up he would have choked on his own puke,” said Nicholas Taylor.
The synthetic drug market is taking over. Nationwide calls to poison controls jumped more than 300% in the last year.
"It's still a drug. It's a still a drug no matter what and it should be illegal,” said Taylor.
When FOX23 bought Morpheus Remastered from the smoke shope no one asked for identification and when asked about what “potpourri” they had the clerk pointed to the sign next to the window. There was a list of incense posted on the building.
FOX23’s Abbie Alford called the shop after the purchase.
Alford: "I was wondering is that legal?”
Clerk: “I don't give out any information over the phone.”
Alford: “Can I come by?”
Clerk: “No, ma'am.”
Alford: “Can I come by and talk to you guys?”
Clerk: “No, you sure can't."
The clerk then hung up the phone.
"If you can buy it in a convenience store, doesn't matter if it is in on Indian land or if it is on any land it's a bad day,” Graves.
Senate Bill 987 also expands to illegal drug makers. For example, if a meth explosion kills a person the meth maker could face First-Degree Murder charges.
Currently, it is Second-Degree Murder or less and a lesser sentence. First-Degree Murder is punishable by death or a life in prison sentence in Oklahoma.
Many synthetic drug makers get around the law by selling it as an incense and altering the ingredients.
The 300 chemicals found in synthetic drugs are now considered Scheduled I illegal substances, and possession or sales of these products can result in felony charges and a prison term of 1 to 10 years.
The law will expand the list of chemicals found in synthetic drugs on November 1st
An OBN spokesperson said it is illegal to sell it to get high and how they have it displayed can be illegal. Hidden behind a counter or the price is jacked up such as a small package of “potpourri” for $30 or a small container of bath salts can be sold for $40, that too can be considered illegal.
In June, federal lawmakers passed a ban on 31 chemicals used in bath salts and other synthetic drugs.
The law outlawed two common substances in bath salts, MDVP and Mephedrone.
It also includes the ban on 20 chemicals used to make synthetic marijuana and eight chemicals found in synthetic hallucinogens
To report the illegal sale of synthetic drugs you can contact the Oklahoma State Bureau of Narcotics at 1-800-522-8031 or by clicking on the attached link.