Young couple arrested under new synthetic marijuana law after overdosing

A 19-year-old Iron Station woman was rushed to the hospital last month after police say she and a man spent the afternoon smoking a synthetic form of marijuana. This has been a frequent scene across the country, where people overdose and come into panic attack after smoking small amounts of synthetic marijuana.

Recently made illegal in North Carolina, the synthetic marijuana, sold under several names including Spice, K2 incense, Knockout, White Rhino, Flame, Mr. Sticy, Dragon,  was allegedly purchased at a store in Cornelius.

Deputies were called to the home at 5721 E. N.C. 27 on June 24 to investigate a drug overdose and found James Luke Sankowich, 19, and Hannah Elizabeth Thompson impaired from an unknown substance, deputies said.

Sankowich told deputies he had Thompson buy some of the synthetic marijuana from an unnamed Cornelius store and got sick after smoking it.

One of the issues surrounding these synthetic marijuana products like spice and k2 incense, is that there is no even distribution of the chemicals used in these products.  The consumer has no idea how much active product there is per gram.

Unlike marijuana, synthetic marijuana and k2 incense subsitutes can cause one to “overdose”

Emergency officials rushed Thompson to CMC-Lincoln for treatment. Sankowich refused medical help, police said.

The couple was charged with possession of a synthetic cannabinoid, possession of a Schedule VI drug, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, deputies said. They were taken to the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center on a $2,500 bond. Both are scheduled to appear in court July 13.

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