Cary, NC -- Spice and black mamba... both nicknames for the new imitation marijuana known as K2. It's easy to get because it's sold in local convenient stores and smoke shops. It has similar properties to the THC in marijuana and comes with a disclaimer: "Not for human consumption."
Daniel Carr, 23, remembers the night when he and his friends were rushed to the hospital after trying the imitation pot. He described the experience as the most terrifying he's ever had.
His friend Austin Walker started hallucinating and collapsed to the ground, experiencing similar symptoms as Carr. "It was the worst thing I've ever experienced," said Walker, who said he nearly died.
The friends and their parents now want to warn others of the dangers in smoking this herbal substance.
"It's just an herbal product, so they didn't see any harm in it, and what happened the rest of the night was a nightmare for everybody," said Cindy Carr, Daniel's mother. The boys were at her house when they decided to try it last month.
Tim Carr, Daniel Carr's father, held Walker after he collapsed near the back deck. "I had to literally sit with him and hold tight. I mean, he was so tense, you know. It was almost cutting off my circulation," Tim Carr said.
K2 is a man-made marijuana and as of now, the drug is legal in the state of North Carolina. Urged by those who have had terrible experiences, some lawmakers are looking into whether the drug should be deemed illegal.
A local couple, who did not want to be identified, said they and many of their friends have smoked K2. One of those friends was rushed to Rex Hospital and died Saturday night, they said.
"It basically feels like your heart is beating 10 million miles an hour," said the anonymous couple.
John Huffman, a Clemson University chemist who developed the product while doing pharmaceutical research, said last month that the research did not shed any light on the safety of the product and that he is not responsible for its recreational use.
Our sister station, WRAL, reached out to a local shop owner who sells K2. He said due to the horrific stories and side-effects K2 has caused, he's pulling it from his shelf.
-- March 2010 - "2 Wants To Know" Investigates 'Stealth Marijuana'
-- March 2010 - Doctors Say K2 Causing Hallucinations In Teens
WRAL TV/WFMY News 2