POLICE in Germany are concerned about the surge in popularity of a drug which is cheap, easy to get and potentially life-threatening.
Law enforcement officials in Berlin have recorded a sharp increase in the use of a synthetic drug called Bonzai which was first noticed in the popular Alexanderplatz around 6-months ago.
The drug – which is used in a joint – can cause people to lose consciousness and feel sharp cramps and worse.
“They are foaming at the mouth and rolled their eyes backwards,” a police official said.
Young refugees from Syria and Afghanistan are known as dealers and consumers, according to police. Sale of the drug is widespread across the German capital.
The drug has been a major problem in Turkey, where the bonzai epidemic reached such worrying proportions that it led to a “declaration of war” by the country’s health minister.
“Bonzai is an artificial cannabinoid. It is classified as Legal High and is available in the form of smoked or herbal mixtures,” a police spokesman said.
For years, the trade in synthetic cannabinoids in Germany has been banned. However, manufacturers are constantly changing recipes to circumvent the ban, reports the BZ newspaper.
Bonzai is cheaper than cannabis, with a bag being available for a quarter of the cannabis price and is enough for four to five joints.