Drug Combo "Gumbo" Ravages Southeast Texas

By McCarton Ackerman 09/12/14

Authorities in Southwest Texas have seen a rash of overdoses caused by marijuana laced with cocaine, PCP, or synthetic weed.

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Gumbo. Photo via

A new drug mixture called “Gumbo” is the latest way that users are combining marijuana with other illicit substances to create a potentially lethal high.

Gumbo is a marijuana cigar laced with other ingredients including ecstasy, cocaine, or PCP. Based on the combination of drugs, the effects can leave users frozen or have the opposite effect and make them combative and unable to feel pain. However, Gumbo can potentially lead to strokes, heart attacks, or organ failure.

It has become an increasing problem throughout Southeast Texas, where local police are reporting that it has been the cause of several overdose deaths and violent crimes that have ravaged local communities. "We've had guys breaking out car windows, we've had guys jump on top of cars, we've had guys take their families hostage," said Port Arthur Detective Marcelo Molfino.

Gumbo can also be laced with synthetic marijuana, which has been causing its own set of problems throughout the country. Last July, 19-year-old teenager Connor Eckhardt slipped into a coma and eventually passed away after smoking synthetic marijuana with friends.

Synthetic marijuana typically consists of dried herbs sprayed with chemicals that simulate marijuana's effects for a legal pot. It can also cause side effects such as irregular heartbeat and seizures.

“These substances are not benign,” said Dr Andrew Monte. “You can buy designer drugs of abuse at convenience stores and on the Internet. People may not realize how dangerous these drugs can be—up to 1,000 times stronger binding to cannabis receptors when compared to traditional marijuana.”

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.

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