Illinois cracks down on synthetic drugs -

Illinois cracks down on synthetic drugs

POCAHONTAS, Ill. (AP) -- Local officials in the normally serene southern Illinois village of Pocahontas are happy to have drawn attention lately from the state's top law enforcer.

Investigators with Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office visited the 850-resident town east of St. Louis in recent months and seized thousands of dollars of synthetic drugs from one of its taverns.

It was part of the state's ongoing, months-long crackdown that Madigan says has rounded up about 8,300 packages of synthetic drugs. Madigan says they could have been worth $160,000 on the streets.

The fake marijuana and cocaine often are plant materials coated with hallucinatory chemicals. They've been known to cause everything from elevated heart rate and blood pressure to hallucinations, extreme paranoia and violent episodes. And they are increasingly popular among teens and young adults.

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