Former synthetic drug user pushes for new drug laws - FOX Carolina 21

Former synthetic drug user pushes for new drug laws

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FLETCHER, NC (FOX Carolina) -

Synthetic drugs like K2, bath salts and spice are illegal in both South and North Carolina, but that hasn't stopped some manufacturers from slightly changing that formula and reintroducing similar products on the market.

South Carolina has banned about 100 chemicals used to create the drugs. But in North Carolina, the Henderson County Sheriff's Office said they're still battling drugs that are legally sold throughout the county.

Brandon Cox, of Fletcher, said for 3.5 years he was addicted to the synthetic marijuana he legally bought at stores. Now, just recently clean, he said he has a new addiction of working to get the drugs out of stores.

He first started using synthetic marijuana when he bought it legally at a gas station.

"I've done a lot of drugs, out of all of them this has been the most intense, unhealthy addictive drug," said Cox.

He said it wasn't long until he was spending $100 a day to keep his high going, smoking 10 to 15 grams a day.

"When I ran out of money, I started stealing from my family to get high, anything I could get my hands on that I thought would make money at pawn shops," said Cox.

His father eventually turned him in to police in hopes he would get help after being in jail. Cox said even then he continued to use the drug, until he decided it was time to make a change and get clean.

The Henderson County Sheriff's Office said they've seen many with the same problem as Cox. They respond to several calls a week about the new popular drug, "Bizarro."

"We're seeing different people using it," said Capt. Frank T. Stout. "It's prevalent with high schoolers and some of our meth users that can't afford it are now taking Bizarro with bad effects."

Stout said the drug is legally sold in head shops and some small gas stations.

Cox said he believes keeping it legal puts the whole community at risk.

"It's crazy how shop owners can sit there and sell this stuff to young kids and lay down and sleep peacefully at night," said Cox.  

While it is legal to buy and sell some synthetic drugs, it is illegal to smoke or inhale their toxic vapors.

Cox said he's been working with local politicians and law enforcement officers to help change the law in North Carolina. Ultimately he wants to get the chemicals in synthetic drugs outlawed in all 50 states.

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