High on catnip? Man accused of peddling cat drug to humans

Posted: Updated:

A vitamin shop owner is facing charges for allegedly selling cat sedatives to humans out of his Essex County business.

Fairfield police say Nutrition Zone owner John Sirico was selling “Catnip Cocktail” to customers, who used the cat medicine to get high. It's sold online as anxiety medication for cats and dogs, but a warning on the website says it should not be consumed by humans.

“It gives you a feeling of euphoria. It depresses your nervous system,” says Lt. Charles Zampino.

In the raid on the Route 46 business, police also seized 29 bottles of human growth hormone and seven high-capacity handgun and rifle magazines.

Police say that they first started investigating back in July after getting a call about someone acting bizarrely in the shopping center where Nutrition Zone is located, and then another call about someone driving erratically. Both had bottles of Catnip Cocktail and receipts from Nutrition Zone. It is illegal for humans to ingest the drug.

“You'll have the effect that you’re intoxicated, but there won’t be any smell of liquor coming off your breath, so that would be why some people come in contact with it,” says Zampino.

Nutrition Zone was closed Friday following Sirico’s arrest. But police say that the store will be allowed to continue operating.

Morris County police and New Jersey State Police say that they also have had cases of people driving under the influence of Catnip Cocktail.

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