Death Toll Climbs from “Mojo” in Jails

Louisiana State Penitentiary
Photo by Katherine Welles/

Two men were discovered dead in Angola, Louisiana’s State Penitentiary, on July 19th. Reports reveal they appeared to have overdosed on the drug “Mojo”, which is one of many names for a synthetic drug known to induce hallucinations, convulsions, and a host of other lovely reactions including death.

Better known as Spice, K2, or Fake, this stuff is an artificial chemical designed to mimic THC and is classified as synthetic marijuana. I think they’re a molecule or two closer to Bath Salts or Cyanide on this one.

Regardless, it is smoked like marijuana and is very popular among teens, homeless people, addicts, and apparently inmates. Surprisingly, it’s got a niche market among those who get regular drug screening by their employers. This is because it is very difficult to detect, and only specialized drug-testing reveals its presence.

In fact, there have been over 79 deaths since 2013 in JAILS ALONE from this substance. Apparently, it’s cheaper in jail than tobacco, and can be smuggled in quite easily.

Spice is extremely addictive and can lead to psychosis quite rapidly. I think the name “synthetic marijuana” is a bit misleading, and likely adds to the dangerous quality of the drug since marijuana is not known to cause an overdose death.

Working in the substance abuse treatment field, I’ve seen many people who have permanently lost touch with reality because of using this drug. The newest phenomenon seems to be that people are dying from it, too. Don’t be fooled, this stuff is no joke.

Do you know someone who’s life is in jeopardy from using dangerous substances?

Contact us for help.


Joe Kertis

Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Joe has worked at Narconon New Life Retreat for the past seven years, since his relocation to Louisiana. As the Intake Supervisor, he helps families and individuals through a very difficult time and take their first steps to a new, drug-free life. Get in touch with Joe on Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn.