June 18, 2009 in City

Teenagers overdose on toxic jimson weed

By The Spokesman-Review

Three Spokane teens have recently overdosed on the seeds of a hallucinogenic plant called jimson weed.

Spokane Regional Health District spokeswoman Julie Graham said people should be wary of jimson weed’s toxicity.

Jimson weed is also commonly called loco weed, stinkweed and a host of other slang terms such as angel’s trumpet and Beelzebub’s Twinkie. The plant’s scientific name is datura stramonium; it’s a member of the nightshade family.

Though the plant has medicinal uses for maladies including asthma, medical experts say the plant’s seeds, leaves and flowers are dangerous and should not be eaten, smoked or brewed into a tea.

Deaths linked to consumption of jimson weed include that of a teen in New Mexico last year.

The plant has foul-smelling leaves, prickly fruit and purple or white trumpet-shaped flowers. It grows wild – up to 5 feet tall – throughout the country, including in Washington and Idaho.

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