EAGLE - Between Eagle Academy and Eagle High School, Ada County Detectives say five students have gone to the emergency room for eating seeds from a weed called Datura. Two were in intensive care for days. Another man wound up in a coma.
"I don't do drugs. I know people who do and I've never been associated with it, but I think all that stuff is stupid. It's a waste of time. It screws up your life," said Timi Leighton, an Eagle High Senior.
Inside the pods are hundreds of seeds... that's what detectives say high school students are ingesting... they're swallowing the seeds or boiling them into a tea... giving them a dangerous high that lasts up to three days.
"This isn't something that wears off in a couple hours and then you go home and you're ok and mom and dad aren't going to notice any problems. This lasts days," said Detective Ryan Pacheco, a School Resource Officer.
Detectives say the drug attacks the nervous system and can cause hallucinations, headaches, nausea, bizarre, violent behavior, severe liver damage and sometimes even death. The problem is it's taking a while for kids to get the message.
"Unfortunately what typically happens is they keep trying it even against our best efforts till there's some stories that come out, You know my friend Johnny is now in the hospital. My friend Johnny lost his liver," said Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney.
Taylor Gillmor, an Eagle 7th grader says she learned about Datura in school.
"I've just learned that it can grow in the wild and it's a hallucinogenic," she said.
The drug is dangerous, but legal. Detectives say education is the best way to fight it.
There's a lot of other stuff out there that I'm sure people don't know about and kids are doing it. I think it's really good that they're getting the word out there," Leighton said.
By Vanessa Brown
Story Created: Nov 13, 2008 at 9:07 PM MST
Story Updated: Nov 13, 2008 at 10:53 PM MST
**Video can be found at http://www.2news.tv/news/34439764.html?video=YHI&t=a