Illegal to use or cultivate jimsonweed

Saturday, December 4th 2004, 11:47 am
By: News On 6

MUSTANG, Okla. (AP) _ A new law that was sought after 10 Mustang High School students became ill after ingesting a common weed has gone into effect.

The measure makes it illegal to use or cultivate jimsonweed and a number of other natural or synthetic substances that a person could use to get high or intoxicated.

About a year ago, the students got sick after eating the prickly fruit of jimsonweed, a cousin of the Angel's Trumpet plant.

Mustang schools Superintendent Karl Springer said he approached lawmakers after police were unable to recommend charges against any of the students involved in distributing jimsonweed to other students.

``When this incident happened, our police department wasn't able to do anything because there were no laws on the books regarding jimsonweed,'' Springer said.

With the help of Rep. Ray Young, R-Yukon, and Sen. Kathleen Wilcoxson, R-Oklahoma City, Springer said he was able to ask lawmakers to close the loophole.

State Bureau of Narcotics spokesman Mark Woodward said law enforcement will now treat jimsonweed the same as other naturally occurring substances. The law went into effect Nov. 1.

``We won't be going out and eradicating jimsonweed, but we will work with schools and police departments on specific cases,'' Woodward said.