A new drug has hit the streets of South Carolina, and it’s not what you’d expect. The drug is called “Green Crack,” and it looks like cannabis but contains heroin instead. Police are warning parents to be on the lookout for this dangerous substance.
This week, the Greenwood Police Department (GPD) in South Carolina issued a warning to parents about a recent finding of a green substance that tested positive for heroin but looked a lot like cannabis.
PARENTS, PLEASE READ THE ADVISORY POSTED ON FACEBOOK. The cops begin by asking, “If you saw this, what would you believe it was?” in an obvious attempt to attract parents’ attention. Candy? Marijuana? “This is heroin,” she says.
The GPD adds that during a recent investigation, which was allegedly triggered by a traffic check, it discovered the drug, which was subsequently tested and found to be heroin. The warning states, “It’s so green and textured that you may mistake it for marijuana at first.”
The GPD says it is “committed to continuing the fight against drugs in our city” and providing parents and guardians with “the best information possible so that you are better able to protect your children,” noting that just the small amount pictured has a street value of well over US$1,000 ($1,240).
“I’d want to see one of the parts sliced apart and also what the covering is, or was,” one commenter on the police post said. It’d make it easier to keep an eye out for nonsense like this.” Another commenter expressed gratitude to the officers for sharing a picture, adding that “more photographs of different narcotics would be helpful.”
“This is not something people simply smoke a little bit and walk away,” GPD public information officer Jonathan Link told 7News. This is the sort of stuff that engulfs individuals and forces them to spend the rest of their lives in the addiction and recovery process.”
However, Link points out that the material, which at first seems to be compressed cannabis, transforms into a “powdery, sort of a crystal substance” when handled.
“While other states have either decriminalized or legalized marijuana possession, South Carolina still vigorously prosecutes these offenses,” according to the Price Benowitz law firm.
According to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, a first offense for possessing an ounce (28 grams) or less of marijuana can result in a misdemeanor charge punishable by 30 days in jail and a US$200 ($250) fine, while a second offense can result in a year in jail and a US$2,000 ($2,500) fine (NORML).
According to NORML, however, selling or trafficking less than 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) of cannabis is a crime punishable by up to five years in jail and a fine of up to $5,000 ($6,250).
For a first offense, trafficking four to 14 grams of heroin carries a required minimum penalty of seven years and a maximum term of 25, according to Thompson & Hillier. A mandatory penalty of 25 years in jail is imposed for a second offense.
Some dispute the economic logic of mixing more costly medicines with cannabis.
“Spiced marijuana is a hoax,” one Quora user writes. “Weed is one of the cheapest narcotics, and cutting it with another substance is not as cost efficient as cutting cocaine or diamorphine,” explains the commentator.
According to American Addiction Centers, marijuana may be contaminated with lead or other dangerous metals, glass, fungus and germs, heroin, LSD, and cocaine, among other things.
“Determining whether marijuana is contaminated with another drug or substance may be almost difficult,” according to Drug Rehab, and “many contaminants are undetected by do-it-yourself testing.” However, the organization warns that a clearly odd color or strong odor may be a sign that something is wrong.