A new type of hallucinogenic drug has turned up in Ohio, one that produces psychedelic effects similar to LSD or Ecstasy, but more intense and longer lasting.
The synthetic designer drug, called 2C-E, was confiscated from a New York man by the Ohio State Highway Patrol Sept. 3.
Troopers found the 10 2C-E strips during a traffic stop in Guernsey County.
While the drug, sometimes referred to as "Europa," has been distributed for several years, it appears to be making only its first inroads into this area.
"We haven't seen it here yet," Detective Lt. John Janowski said.
It has been illegal since July, when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration classified it as a Schedule 1 narcotic.
It comes from the 2C family, a line of synthetic drugs developed in the 1970s and '80s by Alexander Shulgin, who popularized Ecstasy.
Other drugs in the 2C family have been illegal for some time, but 2C-E was legally available until July.
Its effects are said to last from six to 10 hours, but have been known to last for as many as 24 hours.
Janowski said that while 2C-E hasn't made an impact here, its chemical cousins like "" -- powders marketed as innocent products that are actually swallowed or snorted for a high -- have.
"They're all synthetic drugs that are supposed to mimic a certain type of high -- one is supposed to be like cocaine, another like heroin," he said.
The Drug Enforcement Administration has outlawed a number of those chemicals, but analog drugs made up of similar components quickly take their place on shelves of head shops and gas stations.
In the Sept. 3 incident, troopers stopped a vehicle with New York plates for following too close on I-70, then saw the front seat passenger smoking marijuana.
A probable cause search revealed drug paraphernalia, a small amount of marijuana, and a bottle containing the 2C-E strips.
The driver, Brandon Hockenbury, 23, of Gowanda, N.Y., was charged with drug abuse, a fifth-degree felony, and possession of drug paraphernalia, a fourth-degreemisdemeanor. The passenger, Joseph Cascioli, 22, of Ithaca, N.Y., was charged with possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia, both misdemeanors.
The driver was incarcerated in the Guernsey County Jail. If convicted, he could face up to 12 months in prison and up to a $2,500 fine.