The effects of synthetic cannabinoids on the human brain are not well understood. Yet people routinely smoke this stuff, sometimes called "synthetic pot."
This week's cover story on the subject describes the phenomenon, but a recently published article in the Cleveland Clinic Medical Journal adds that it is far more potent and dangerous than THC and can even trigger psychotic episodes.
So we dug up some reports of people doing sad, horrendous and truly bizarre things while allegedly under the influence. Here are eight notable examples:
8. Punching Cops
Back in May, 27-year-old David Martin allegedly smoked some Spice, stripped off all his clothes, and marched through Indianapolis fighting cops and performing ninja-like somersaults to evade arrest. Martin managed to initially fight off cops despite being hit with a Taser numerous times. Fortunately, his naked rampage ended up on YouTube. Jump to the 1:20 mark to witness the man's gymnastic prowess.
7. Thinking You're in Inception
Earlier this month, a police dispatcher in Volusia County fielded a call from local yokel Mark Welch, who had apparently smoked some K2 earlier that day. The very stoned Welch told the dispatcher, "Something happened in my dream and it's actually happening...Everything that happened today is actually in my dream and I want to prove it to everybody." Cops showed up and told the stoned slob to not call the police anymore. Forty minutes later, he called the cops again and was arrested.
6. Deadly Driving
In June of 2011, Max Dobner purchased a bag of iAroma herbal incense from a mall in Aurora, Illinois. According to his mother, Max went home, smoked a bit, and started to panic. He called his older brother and said he "smoked that legal stuff." His brother suggested that Dobner shower, eat something, and try to rest. Instead, he got into his car and started driving 80-100 mph through the small city. He careened into a small retaining wall in front of a garden. His car shot into the hair and crashed through a house. Dobner died. One aspect that stands out to his mother: There were no skid marks or any sign that Dobner tried to slow down before the carnage enused.
5. We're Going Streaking
What is it with synthetic drugs -- whether herbal incense or bath salts -- and stripping? In August, police in Brandenton, Florida, responded to calls that someone was shooting a gun in their apartment. When the cops arrived, they found a guy running around the parking lot naked. They searched the guy's apartment and found a Glock he had been firing off. Thankfully the bullets didn't go through the walls and hit a neighbor.
4. Pummeling the Elderly
Matthew See, 23, of California reportedly smoked some K2 and then decided to steal a 70-year-old man's sunglasses. The shades weren't enough, though. See allegedly forced his way into the apartment and assaulted the man's 69-year-old wife.
3. Cut Throat
Last week, Victoria Payne, 65, was washing dishes at her home in Safety Harbor, Florida, when her son, Robert, started to strangle her. According to the Tampa Bay Times, the mom smashed a plate over her son's head. But Robert got his hands on a piece of the broken plate and used it to slash his mom's throat. Both mom and son were taken to the hospital and treated.
2. Shaking Babies
On Dec. 20, 2011, Matthew Evans of Pennsylvania was baby sitting his girlfriend's 2-month-old son and smoking Spice brand herbal incense. When the baby started to cry and fuss, Evans shook the young boy and eventually killed him. Evans recently pleaded guilty to murder in the third degree.
1. Eating Dog
Few anecdotes embody the waywardness of herbal incense as perfectly as Michael Terron Daniel's. The 22-year-old Texan allegedly smoked K2 and started chasing a neighbor while barking and growling like a dog. Then Daniel strangled his family dog and started eating the animal, apparently "ripping pieces of flesh away" with his teeth. Sounds pretty similar to another incident from this summer.
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