Former addict speaks out after synthetic marijuana bust

Posted at 9:08 PM, Nov 23, 2016

Two men were arrested after Lee County deputies discovered more than thirteen pounds of synthetic marijuana in the trunk of their car.

Muayad Akrah Hamdan and Zakarya Kamal Abed Rabuh are from Tampa, and were driving north on I-75 near Bayshore Road, when they were pulled over for speeding.

Brandon Short of Lee County Associates in Psychiatry said it's possible they were dropping off some of the drugs, or picking more up.

Cody Triggs, 23, is a recovering addict at Nextep in Fort Myers.

"My biggest fear in this world is spending 25-to-life in a box. That's horrifying to me," Triggs said.

He said he's had his fair share of experiences with synthetic marijuana.

"The last time I did it, I didn't even mean to do it. I thought it was marijuana," he said. "I had a severe hallucination. I had no idea where I was. I was running around with my hands up, asking which way. I thought people were trying to get me."

"I've heard cases where people have smoked this and died the first time," Triggs said.

Short said thirteen pounds isn't for personal use.

"That's a lot of spice to be distributed throughout southwest Florida," he said.

Triggs said thirteen pounds isn't much, when considering how much of the drug is likely in southwest Florida.

He said the drug is popular because it's so widely available and doesn't show up on a standard drug test.

The packaging of the synthetic marijuana from this bust has cartoons like Spongebob and Scooby-Doo on it.

"That's messed up. That's messed up," Triggs said. "A kid is going ot think that's fun. They have no idea."

There is no regulations placed on spice because it is an illegal drug, and Short said there's no limit on what it can do to your body.

"It's a dangerous synthetic drug that nobody knows what's in it. It can cause permanent and irreversible damage to your body," he said.

Short estimated just one pound of synthetic marijuana is worth nearly $5,000, meaning this bust took almost $65,000 worth of spice off the streets.