Startling statistics on the number of synthetic marijuana arrests were released Friday by the Corpus Christi Police Department.

The drug has been around for some time, but it has only been a couple of years since the CCPD's narcotics and vice officers began to keep track of it. The use of synthetic marijuana -- also known as spice, K-2, skunk, genie, bliss and many more names -- has skyrocketed because of its low cost and easy availability.

Police said in 2016, more than 1,800 arrests were made for synthetic marijuana use, and that figure represented 44-percent of all narcotics arrests. Beginning with the Operation Stick Man" sweep in early January, 27 dealers were ultimately taken off the streets.

The punishment varies for the arrests, but authorities said dealers face serious jail time.