Jimson weed poisons teens across U.S.

November 3, 2006

Poisonings resulting from teenagers using common jimson weed as a hallucinogen have been reported in New Jersey, California, Colorado and other states.

Steven Marcus, director of the New Jersey Poison Information and Education System in Newark, said three poisonings related to the plant have been reported since July, USA Today reported Thursday.

"(Jimson weed is) all over the place," Marcus said. "You can find it on the side of the road."

Additional poisonings have been reported this year in Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, the newspaper said.

The American Association of Poison Control Center said there were 975 reported cases of poisonings related to anti-cholinergic plants -- including jimson weed -- in 2005, down from 1,058 in 2004.

Jimson weed, also known as stinkweed, locoweed and moonflower, contains seeds that cause hallucinations when eaten or brewed in a tea. Other effects include dry mouth, overheating, agitation and urinary retention.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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