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Police warning over deadly plant extract

POLICE have issued a warning against drinking a deadly plant extract after a handful of people checked themselves into hospital after ingesting the toxin in Hobart this month
A police spokesperson said a man had offered a tea-like substance containing Datura, a natural hallucinogen and poison, to people in the city's CBD.
About 10 people drank the liquid and later admitted themselves to hospital.
The spokesman said it was an isolated incident and police reports did not suggest Datura use had spread across the state.
The liquid is concocted from Datura, also known as brugmansia, which grows as a weed in patches around the Tamar and Derwent valleys.
It causes hallucinations, bizarre and paranoid behaviour and periods of amnesia.
It can also cause an accelerated heart rate, hypothermia, severe pupil dilation and violent behaviour.
The toxin is particularly deadly in young people.
In 2000 a Wynyard 14-year-old drowned after drinking a lethal dose of the substance.
He had reportedly been seen talking to and headbutting trees before he died.
Coroner Don Jones conducted an inquest into his death in 2002.
Hobart police have charged a man with supplying a restricted substance for offering the Datura tea around the city.
He will appear before a Hobart court at a later date.
Anyone who consumed the substance or has any information about the incident is asked to contact Constable Ricki Eaves at Hobart Police Station on 6230 2375 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.