PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — State and local police are cracking down on the sale of synthetic marijuana.

But what exactly is synthetic pot?

“Some people call it marijuana on steroids,” said Dr. Neil Capretto, of Gateway Rehabilitation.

Herbs treated with chemicals and it’s sent tens of thousands of users to the emergency room.

“I felt like I was going to die from smoking the stuff,” said one man recovering at Gateway Rehab. “Like my body was having an allergic reaction to it. Like it made you high but I felt like I was going to die.”

“Severe panic attacks, paranoia, hallucination — medical problems like rising heart rate and blood pressure,” Dr. Capretto said. “A number of teenagers have had heart attacks and there’s been a few deaths as a result of using this substance.”

Despite all that, it’s become a drug of choice for users as young as 13 and 14, and that’s why State Police have made it a priority.

“It’s sad it really, it really is,” Jeff Brautigam, of Pennsylvania State Police, said. “To see these young kids, and they come from all aspects of life — the rich, the poor the middle class these kids start partying with this stuff and they need up in Children’s Hospital.”

But while dangerous, the sale of synthetic pot is highly profitable — $30 for just a five-gram bag at one Stop ‘N Go. Police have confiscated 50 pounds of the drug and $300,000 in cash.

On Thursday, they also seized an Uzi submachine gun and a shotgun.

Just goes to show, there must be a lot of money in it when people have to have weaponry like this to protect their stash or their cash.

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