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OPP ISSUE JIMSON WEED WARNING

By Alfa, Oct 20, 2004 | | |
  1. Alfa
    OPP ISSUE JIMSON WEED WARNING

    Despite efforts to educate youth, the toxic plant jimson weed has made
    its annual appearance in local emergency rooms. Norfolk OPP is
    stressing the dangers of the plant after a youth was admitted to
    hospital this weekend.

    Const. Krista Schaus says there's at least one incident every fall,
    when the plant blossoms and adolescents ingest the seeds. It's
    frequent enough locally to be included in the OPP's VIP program, which
    teaches Grade 6 students the dangers of crime and drugs. Schaus says
    most drugs are included, but when one is found locally as often as
    jimson weed, more time is devoted to it.

    "It's usually the 13, 14 or 15 year olds," she said. "It's almost
    always that age group. We devote one or two classroom sessions to
    drugs. People forget that even though we have drugs you hear more
    about, like marijuana and ecstasy, this is a definite issue."

    Police aren't the only ones trying to educate the public. The
    addictions services division of the Haldimand-Norfolk Regional Health
    Department distributes flyers and information to family doctors and
    the public. It also includes jimson weed in presentations at local
    schools.

    "Every fall it comes up because some kids will try it," said Brian
    Hesketh, a drug and alcohol counsellor. "It's a very unpleasant
    experience, so most of the kids who try it never do it twice. Even if
    someone's only taken a little bit of the stuff, it's still a medical
    emergency."

    Const. Eric DeSerranno says one reason jimson weed is so prevalent is
    that it can be found in local gardens, cornfields and along the side
    of the road. Its other names include "stinkweed" and angel's trumpet.

    When ingested, the plant acts as a potent hallucinogen that can cause
    dry mouth, difficulty swallowing and speaking, blurred vision,
    irregular heartbeat, spasmodic movements and even seizures and comas.

    "It's a really foolish drug to try," Hesketh said. "These experiences
    can be very, very frightening, but the fear campaign never works with
    kids."

    Schaus says it's difficult to track and enforce because it's not
    covered under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, and possession
    of it is not a crime.

    "There are a lot of substances that can be found in local fields and
    ditches that are not under the act," she said, "but if you do it, it's
    bad for you."

Comments

  1. antigenesis
    I don't know if thats in your area or what, but if thats in the USA id be willing to bet a large amount of the people are more pissed off that they can't enforce it than they are pissed off kids are getting hurt over it.

    P.S. What happened to the smileys?
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