Nicole Cox, police reporter
December 04, 2008 01:00pm
POLICE have made what is thought to be WA's first seizure of a new and potentially fatal hallucinogenic drug, arresting three men.
Police yesterday seized two grams of the drug, known as dimethyltryptamine or DMT, and arrested three men after raiding two properties in Denmark and Walpole, in the South of WA.
Police were called into investigate after a patient was admitted to Denmark Hospital with a suspected overdose of the drug.
``We believe this may be the first seizure of DMT by police in WA . . . And we also believe it is the first arrest as a result of this drug,'' Denmark Sergeant Dave Dench told PerthNow this afternoon.
``This is new (to WA). It's not new to the world. . . it's been used for 300 or 400 years overseas, but it's new to WA. We have never come across this in WA before.
``Even though we've only seized 2 grams, the fact that we've locked up three men, we believe we've put quite a dint in the potential for this drug to hit Denmark in large quantities.''
DMT is extracted from the bark of certain trees and is manufactured during a `` complex cooking process''. Once ``cooked'', the yellow-coloured drug takes a crystalline or powder form. It is usually smoked, sometimes by lacing cannabis with the drug, police say.
Sgt Dench said intelligence suggested that the drug was being sold in 1 gram packages for $200.
He said chemists believed that each ``dose'' was 15 to 25 mg.
``Our concern is that if someone who hasn't taken the drug before and doesn't know anything about it and takes 1 gram, which is way over the dosage that chemists recommend is sufficient, then it may potentially have some major health effects for them.''
He said police did not have any evidence that the drug, which is believed to have originated in South America, had been manufactured in the South West or from local trees.
``There are about six or seven types of tree that this substance can be extracted from....But we don't have any direct intelligence to suggest it's been cooked locally,'' he said.
A 25-year-old Walpole man will be charged by summons with supplying a prohibited drug (DMT), possessing a prohibited drug (DMT) and one count of possessing cannabis.
A 22-year-old man from Denmark will be charged by summons with one count of possessing a prohibited drug (DMT) and possessing a smoking implement.
The third man, a 23-year-old from Denmark, will be charged by summons for possessing cannabis and possessing a smoking implement.
The three men will appear in Albany Magistrates Court in January.