New-To-Area Drug Draws Attention of Tenn., Ky. Law Enforcement

Nov 29, 2013

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Earlier this month, the circulation of plant seeds containing a psychoactive chemical compound similar to LSD led to the hospitalization of five Stewart County High School students.

The seeds of Hawaiian Baby Woodrose – a climbing vine – contain lysergic acid amide, or LSA.

LSA is a schedule three controlled substance, which means it has medical value, but isn’t as addictive as schedule 1 and 2 drugs. It’s illegal to extract the LSA from the seeds, but that’s not what the students at Stewart County High School did. They just ingested the seeds.

The Stewart County Sheriff’s Office says as many as 20 students were involved with the circulation of the seeds, which Michael Stanfill, a special agent with the Drug Enforcement Agency's Nashville resident office, says are not considered a controlled substance, or regulated.

“If this becomes a problem down the road, can there be some type of legislation for it? Yeah," Stanfield said. "But we haven’t seen it, and neither has the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, so it’s something fairly new.”

Calls to the Tennessee Department of Health and the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy yielded confusion and unfamiliarity. One official said he was going to have to Google it.