Sunday, September 28, 2003

Teens expected to recover from weed poisoning

The Associated Press

LIMA, Ohio - Four teenagers hospitalized after eating seeds from a toxic hallucinogenic weed should recover without permanent damage, a doctor said.

The male Shawnee High School students, ages 17 and 18, remained at St. Rita's Medical Center on Saturday. Two are in critical condition and two are in serious condition, a nursing supervisor said.

Two of them were on machines to help them breathe because they'd been sedated to prevent them from injuring themselves because of hallucinations caused by jimson weed, Dr. Eric Kirschner said.

They ate jimson weed seeds late Thursday night, said Shawnee Township police Chief Richard Kohli. The plant is poisonous but not illegal, he said.

All four should stop hallucinating within 24 to 48 hours from the time they ate the seeds, Kirschner said. "There is no safe amount of this."

Authorities were not sure where the teens found the poisonous plant, which usually grows in farm fields and along roads.

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