The Izard County Sheriff’s Department and the 16th Judicial District Drug Task Force executed a search warrant on a Calico Rock business around noon on Friday. The Conoco Snappy Mart has been under surveillance for the past few weeks for selling synthetic marijuana. Deputies served the warrant, closed the business and a through search of the business was conducted. During the search more than 400 packets of synethic product, some found inside the business and some found in a vehicle belonging to the business owner, were seized along with drug paraphernalia including smoking pipes. The seized product was valued at more than $16,000 retail. Formal charges are pending against the operators of business, 46 year-old Ifran Rehman and his wife, forty eight year old Myong Rehman of Calico Rock. Sheriff Tate Lawrence said the search warrant was executed after a few weeks of investigation including undercover purchases of the product from the business located at 2651 Arkansas Highway 56.
Sheriff Lawrence said the psychoactive herbal and chemical product mimics the effects of cannabis and produces a similar or more potent high than marijuana. The product is marketed under several different brand names including K2, K3, Spice, Hush, and many other labels. The product according to Lawrence was banned in Arkansas in July of 2010 and the sale and/or possession of the product is illegal. Users of the product often end up in hospital emergency rooms. Some studies indicate the product is as much as five time more powerful than marijuana and that there are dangerous short and long term effects of the product. Studies also suggest that synthetic cannabin intoxication is associated with acute psychosis and my have the ability to trigger a chronic long term psychotic disorder among vulnerable individuals