Homemade drug 'spice' sickens 4 in Sarasota park - WFLA News Channel 8

Homemade drug 'spice' sickens 4 in Sarasota park

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Five Points Park in downtown Sarasota Five Points Park in downtown Sarasota
Five Points Park in downtown Sarasota Five Points Park in downtown Sarasota
PJ Brooks with the program First Step discusses dangers of smoking spice. PJ Brooks with the program First Step discusses dangers of smoking spice.
SARASOTA COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -  

Four people were hospitalized in Sarasota after smoking fake pot.

Officials say they not only became very sick but some were incredibly violent, and it took several grown men to subdue them.

They were smoking homemade pot out of an apple.

It goes by the name 'spice' or 'K2'.

The drug was laced with a concoction of chemicals, and officials say it was laced with some strange chemicals.

Related Content:
Pinellas deputies make first Spice arrest 

On Tuesday afternoon at Five Points Park Sarasota police officers came upon a large group of people.

They were surrounding a man who was unresponsive on the ground. Then suddenly, two other men and a woman collapsed!

First responders arrived to treat them and two of the men were very violent, one needed to be restrained by six people!

They were all later transported to Sarasota memorial hospital, and at one point, two of the smokers were in serious condition.

After the four were taken to the hospital, an officer started asking around- trying to figure out what these people were smoking. Turns out, it was fake pot laced with formaldehyde and embalming fluid!

According to the National Cancer Institute- formaldehyde is a colorless, flammable chemical used in building materials and household products.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have classified formaldehyde as a known cancer-causing substance.

PJ Brooks with the addiction recovery program, First Step, said spice is essentially potpourri laced with deadly chemicals.

He says it's far worse than marijuana and can cause psychotic episodes or even death.

Brooks said, "The best comparison I can give is similar to what years and years ago we used to see when individuals used PCP."

Brooks said spice is illegal, but manufacturers work around the law by changing the formula.

Brooks said, "They change the chemical makeup just to stay ahead of the law and keep it legal. And you really don't know what you're getting."

Sarasota police have collected evidence from the scene and they're going to see whether the fake pot used in the park is illegal.

Police Chief Bernadette DiPino said, "We are going to try to determine who actually sold it, how it was made, who made it and bring those individuals to justice also."

  Related Content: Spice and the danger of the new underground market

Chief DiPino said her officers are going to go to local stores to crack down on the sale of illegal spice.

She said, "If we find that the substance that they're selling is illegal, we will prosecute to the fullest extent that we can."

Three of the four people have been discharged and one was unlisted.

County officials are also drafting an ordinance to keep spice off the streets and to really clamp down on the retailers who sell them.

Brooks said the anti-spice law is expected to be drafted by the end of the year and could be in place by the spring.

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