Drug is suspected in 4 deaths in U.S. including that of a Voodoo Music Experience attendee
A synthetic drug linked to four deaths across the United States including that of a 21-year-old man who attended the Voodoo Music Experience is being banned in Louisiana.
State officials describe the substance known as 25-I as a dangerous and potent drug. It is being added to a list of substances that are illegal to possess, manufacture or distribute in Louiisiana.
"If it's on the list of scheduled drugs, we're talking about prosecution and the ability of local law enforcement to actually arrest someone," says Rep. Kevin Pearson, R-Slidell, who proposed criminalizing the drug.
"Adding it to the list of scheduled drugs, it is one, perhaps even worse, than drugs such as heroin and many of the other drugs such as that," Pearson said.
Also known as Smiles or N-Bomb, 25-I is a synthetic psychedelic that the Drug Enforcement Administration considers comparable to LSD.
A 21-year-old Arkansas man died in New Orleans last month after accepting a small dose from a stranger at the Voodoo Experience. Clayton Otwell, who reportedly ingested just a single drop, went into convulsions within 30 minutes and was rushed to a hospital where he was put on life support. He died a few days later.
25-I has also been linked to the deaths earlier this year of two teenagers in Grand Forks, North Dakota and a 16-year-old boy in Sacramento, California.