New Drug, New Battle

A new synthetic marijuana has made it's way to Wichita Falls.

K2 was banned by the state of Texas last April, but now there is a new version of the drug.  K3 as some call it, is slightly different, but uses similar chemicals.  The new synthetic marijuana can currently be bought and sold legally.

Officer Brandi Young of the Wichita Falls Police Department said, "With K2, we did see it here in this area and it is illegal now.  It all falls under the penalty group 2A."

The Texas Criminal and Traffic Law Manual contains pages specifically about synthetic marijuana.

"There are 150 compounds that are listed in penalty group 2A in the health and safety code," said Officer Young.

It lists compound by compound, the chemicals that can be found in the illegal drug.  Now, experts say drug manufacturers are doing what they can to bypass what's in the law books.

"Well what they are doing is changing one compound and manipulating all of it so that its not now being tested as K2," explained Officer Young.

K3 is a new version.  Often it's ingredients are changed just slightly from K2, meaning its not in the law books.  Right now it is legal to buy and sell.

Officials in the police department's narcotics unit say they have seen this type of drug in town. "They say they haven't really seen it called K3 here in our city," said Officer Young.  They have seen other versions of this, but not necessarily called K3."

The chemicals in these drugs are dangerous.  Officer Young said even though it may not be illegal, they can be very harmful.

"All these things that are intentionally meant for incense to burn all of them of course say not for human consumption so it's not something that we want to put in our bodies anyway," she said.

While it's not illegal now, the narcotics unit does all they can to stay one step ahead.

"They are always getting new information and of course they use their confidential informants here in town and everywhere else to get all the information that they need," Officer Young said.  "They keep themselves educated so they know what's going on."

DPS sends the synthetic marijuana found in Wichita Falls to labs to be analyzed and most of it comes back positive for K2.

Taelor Rian, Newschannel 6.