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People hospitalized after smoking potpourri

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LONGVIEW/GREGG COUNTY (KYTX) - Poison control centers say they've already received nearly 700 calls this year related to synthetic marijuana. Police say it's labeled as potpourri.

 "Ya know it looks like regular potpoUrri that you would buy at a store."

Except 26-year-old Rocky Dawson isn't buying his potpourri for the aroma, he takes it home and smokes it.

 

 "If you don't know what you're doing, you can overdo it and hurt yourself."

   With names like Spice, No More Mr. Nice Guy, and hundreds of others, these items are labeled potpourri and sold in gas stations and smoke shops. But police are calling it synthetic marijuana because people are abusing it, smoking it to get a feeling of euphoria.

"It doesn't last that long."

    And police say users don't really know exactly what chemicals they're putting into their bodies.
     "You never know if the first time you smoke it or the 10th time you smoke it...you could die."
 
 Longview Police spokeswoman Kristie Brian says even though you have to be 18 or older to buy this special potpourri, children and young adults are using it right here in East Texas.
   
Dawson says its given him severe anxiety and a fast racing heartbeat.

 "Night sweats, I have real bad night sweats. "

    Police say the best thing parents can do is pay attention even Dawson says no child should be using it.

"There just little black packages, you can hide them anywhere,you can hide them inside a book," Dawson said.

"Start asking some questions."

   In 2011, the Texas Legislature amended the Texas Controlled Substance Act, to ban synthetic drugs law enforcement was aware of at the time like K2 and bath salts.
    However, these potpourri items are new so they're not included. But there is a bill pending in the Texas House that would ban any synthetic drug that has the same effect as marijuana.

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