Monica Robins WKYC-TV (Cleveland)
May 19, 2006
If you think drug dealers are hanging out on street corners or near schools targeting children, it’s time for a wake-up call. Thousands of them are now reaching out through the internet.
That’s the case with a relatively new drug that’s dangerous but for sale online.
Packages filled with coffee first raised suspicion at UPS.
But the coffee was meant to conceal something else: Drugs. But it wasn’t something detectives had ever seen before:
“When we first saw it — we were thinking meth — although it’s a little finer, powdery form than meth usually is,” Narcotics Officer Sgt. Bill Evans said.
They traced the packages to a northern California drug dealer – Zachary Michael Fisher — who told detectives the strange substance was something called 2C-I.
Its full name is 2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodophenethylamine.
Popular in Canada and Europe, it’s also sometimes called “the spice.”
But no matter what you call it – 2C-I is a powerful psychedelic — similar in effects to LSD.
One person who used 2C-I describes the effects:
“It takes like 20 minutes to kick in — you get energy, you wanna do something, things start to morph, and you see colors – everything seems weird.”
Eric is a teen did 2C-I, until his uncle discovered a vial of it in his school backpack.
“When I found it in his backpack, and when he finally started talking about it he said — well don’t worry about it, it’s not even illegal,” Eric’s uncle, Kris, said. “Lots of kids are starting to do this.”
But it is illegal.
New on the DEA radar, 2C-I and its cousins fall under the Federal Analog Act.
Which means if it looks like and acts like an illegal drug — it is illegal.
The internet is now a great street corner for drug dealers.
“Many drug dealers can now enter the privacy of a home, and entice and sell their destruction to children,” Drug Enforcement Agency agent Gordon Taylor said.
And these drugs are unknown for their addiction potential, allergic reaction, or overdose threshold.
“We don’t know yet if patients are going to be stimulated — as is the case with cocaine — will they develop a lot of paranoia and therefore a lot of violence with its use?” St. Vincent Charity Hospital Dr. Chris Adelman said. “We just don’t know that yet. But those are concerns.”
The websites that sell the drugs send mixed messages as well.
One page declares them as “quality research chemicals for personal and business use” while saying in very small print on the disclaimer the chemicals are “offered for laboratory and manufacturing use only.”
2C-I comes in several forms, pill, powder or clear liquid.
The DEA is trying to prosecute several research chemical vendors for selling it.