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Does Edith use Jimson Weed??? Read to find out!

5:45 AM EDT on August 4, 2011

When I was a teenager, drinking margarita wine coolers with girls was the fun "daring" thing to do. Apparently, either I was a dork or today's kids are much cooler, dumber and daring than I ever was. From KFOR:

Tuesday morning two young men went to the hospital and one into police custody in Bethany. One of the teens, a 17 year old, is suffering hallucinations so severe, we're told he is trying to smoke his nurse's fingers.

It's all because of a weed native to Oklahoma that's a growing trend among teens.

It has many names like Jimson Weed, Moon Lilly and Thorn Apple.  Officers know it as "Trouble."

Lt. Phillip Wise with the Bethany Police Department said, "We got a call from a concerned parent who said they had to rush their kid to the hospital because he was acting strange."

When officers arrived to the home in Bethany, they found the teen who had been acting strange wasn't the only one who needed their attention.

Wise said, "When we got over here we found another one unconscious inside the house. Come to find out they had been using Jimson Weed."

It's a white flower with prickly seed pods.

The trend is for teenagers to cut the insides out and eat the seeds.

Wise said, "It's bad news."

The result is often dangerous with hallucinogenic side effects and can cause seizures and organ damage....

He warns parents to talk to their kids about the new drug.

I liked two things about this news report:

1. I've finally found a new substance to slip Clark Matthews before his next checkers tournament. He usually plays his best games when he's under the power of hallucinogenic substances.

2. It reinforced my belief that local television news is the most over-sensationalized, misleading crap on television.

Seriously, this story represents everything wrong with local TV. If you watch the clip at KFOR or read the transcript above, you would get the vibe that all the "cool" kids are trying Jimson Weed. Hell, they even come out and say it’s "a growing trend among teens."

But despite such a strong statement, they never once cite a statistic or provide any evidence or proof to support their claim. They just interview the Bethany cop and show mug shots of the accused. They also portray Jimson Weed is a “new” drug, even though stories have been produced about it for years.

Of course, there's a reason KFOR and other news stations intentionally produce misleading news reports. It's called "ratings." They know that by manufacturing fear or alarm in a story, more people are likely to watch it.

For example, a teaser for the 6:00pm broadcast that says “Parents watch out! There’s a NEW drug out there being used by your teens. Worst of all, they can find it in your backyard!” is more likely to get viewers than “three idiots from Bethany ate some poisonous seeds from a weed in were sent to the hospital.

Anyway, sorry to take up all your time by telling you something you already know. I just hate sensationalism and misleading people. It’s such a terrible thing to do. Maybe I should try some Jimson Weed (or honeysuckles). I'm sure that would calm me down.

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