Locoweed is Well Named

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Okay, that’s simply one of it’s street names, along with Stinkweed, Jimson Weed, Devil’s Apple, and Thornapple. But it’s probably the best common descriptor for Datura stramonium.

According to the Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine, the plant “is a member of the nightshade family and is a common weed growing along roadways and in pastures in southern Canada and the United States. Most troublingly, it says that it’s used (usually by teenagers) for “hallucinogenic and euphoric effect” and “Jimson weed parties are becoming more common” despite the fact that it “can cause acute anticholinergic poisoning and death in humans and animals.” 01

In 2000 it was “linked to at least one death in the Niagara Region” where it grows naturally. In 2003 “a 13-year-old boy landed in the intensive care unit after eating the plant.” In 2005 “a Simcoe boy went into a coma and was airlifted to Sick Kids hospital in Toronto” after ingesting it. In 2006 “four Hamilton teens were sent to hospital after smoking jimson-laced cigarettes during their lunch break at school.” In 2007 “three males, ages 14 to 17, were found in an incoherent and unresponsive state” after eating it’s seeds. 02

Today’s paper reports it’s use by local youth as well. “On Saturday, a 16-year-old girl was found incoherent on Commissioners Road … several others youths have been treated after ingesting the seeds during recent weeks.” 03

Sources:
01. Teenagers with Jimson Weed Poisoning
02. 3 Teens Poisoned…
03. Jimson weed seed dangerous if ingested

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