Was 19-year-old suspect Tucker Cipriano high on fake marijuana when he attacked his parents?

(FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich., WXYZ) - Police say a 19-year-old clubbed his father to death with a baseball bat and attacked his mom and brother with the help of a friend.  The mother and brother were left in critical condition.

Police arrested Robert Cipriano's son Tucker Cipriano and a second 20-year-old suspect they didn't identify.

Police Chief Chuck Nebus says the son has a history of drug abuse.

A friend who says he was with the young man a short time before the crime tells WXYZ Tucker R. Cipriano was using K2, which is a brand of synthetic marijuana. He says Cipriano went to his parents house in Farmington Hills to take money.

Police are investigating that claim.

So what is synthetic marijuana?

It often contains a chemically altered form of  a molecule found in marijuana. The chemical is sprayed on herbs, then sold as incense.  It is smoked to get high. Users say the high experienced is often nothing like the high experienced after marijuana use.

There is little research on its safety. Doctors have seen users experience psychosis, hallucinations, paranoia, and seizures.

In Michigan, possession of synthetic marijuana is a 90-day misdemeanor, but it is still sometimes sold illegally in liquor stores and head shops.  It can also be bought on-line.

In the past, when the drug has been banned, makers have altered their formulas to create drugs to skirt around the law.  It has in some cases resulted in more potent drugs.

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