Synthetic pot stupor: police arrest dazed man on suspicion of intoxication, possession

Synthetic pot stupor: police arrest dazed man on suspicion of intoxication, possession
Johnathon Joseph

Officers in Orange arrested an apparently dazed man after a caller reported he was staggering down the road Friday morning, Feb. 19, Officer Marcus Bernard reported.

According to Officer Bernard, he was dispatched to Amaryllis Avenue near Highway 87 South in reference to a welfare check of the individual. Upon arrival to the area of 87 South at Bluebonnet near Mazzio's Pizza, he found the man described by the caller, unsteady on his feet with a blank stare. The man identified himself to the officer as 29-year-old Johnathon Joseph of Orange. 

As the officer spoke with Joseph, Bernard said the man's speech was slurred and distorted.

"I believed Joseph to be intoxicated to the point if left alone in public he would present a danger to himself and/or others around," Bernard described.

Joseph, a frequent flyer of the Orange County Jail, has a history of public intoxication convictions in Orange, causing the charges for his most recent arrest to be enhanced. 

When he got to the jail, officers also allegedly discovered a clear, plastic bag of "a dry, green, leafy substance with a sweet smell" Bernard believed to be synthetic marijuana. The suspect reportedly conceded the substance was indeed synthetic pot. He was then also charged with possession of a controlled substance.

Besides causing users to appear as they are in a stupor, the negative effects of synthetic marijuana vary from seizures and strokes to heart attacks and death, and are still being discovered as researchers learn more and as the chemical compounds used in the drug change to defeat designations within state legislation.