Illinois Medical Cannabis Industry Reacts to Synthetic Marijuana Deaths

Dried plants dosed with psychoactive chemicals is marketed as K2 or spice.

NY health care providers are being urged to be on high alert for severe bleeding cases that could be linked to synthetic marijuana use. Two other deaths were reported, including a 22-year-old Chicago man who died in Oak Lawn. Symptoms may range from unexplained bruising, bleeding from the nose or gums, blood in the urine or stools, coughing up or vomiting blood, to bleeding in the brain.

Authorities say several patients and samples of fake weed from IL have tested positive for a lethal ingredient often used in rat poison. "We urge people not to use synthetic cannabinoids now or ever". While efforts are underway to get the contaminated drugs out of circulation, it's possible they could re-emerge.

Though the synthetic cannabis is illegal, the key can be to look at the packaging to determine if that's what it contains, Stenger added.

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Another person has died from using synthetic marijuana. The CDC also recommends providers report suspected cases associated with synthetic marijuana to their local health department.

Illinois' synthetic pot death toll is up to three.

New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, "This disturbing outbreak proves yet again the dangers of using synthetic marijuana". While the substances are meant to mimic the effects of marijuana, they are often far more unsafe for users. Foil packets of the drug are often sold over the counter at convenience stores, sometimes deceptively labeled as "herbal incense" or "potpourri".

In the 1980s, synthetic cannabinoids were considered research compounds but they are now produced overseas, according to the CDC.

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"Just (Monday) we sent information from the Illinois Department of Public Health's website on the situation out to our officers for their awareness", he said.

"Synthetic cannabinoids are part of a group of drugs called new psychoactive substances (NPS)".

If you experience any symptoms, call 911 or have someone drive you to a hospital emergency department immediately, Foley and Sparkman said.

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  • Jermaine Castillo