Fake weed hits Chicago, health officials warn it causes bleeding  

K2, synthetic marijuana (Photo Source: NYC Health Department and DEA)

Across the country, many states have addressed growing marijuana use with decriminalization, medical legalization, and recreational legalization. In Illinois, where limited medical use is permitted, there is now a problem for those who choose to buy fake weed or synthetic pot — it is causing users to bleed from body orifices.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, at least 22 people have been treated in emergency rooms recently for severe bleeding from their mouth and eyes. According to health officials, the victims have purchased these products, such as the popular synthetic pot K2, at local convenience stores and from street-level dealers. The packages are often filled with leafy substances sprayed with a synthetic THC and then smoked. To get around laws, the molecular formulation is changed slightly by chemists, whenever one form of the product has been declared illegal.

In 2016, at least 33 people were taken to local New York City hospitals after smoking synthetic pot with brand names such as K2, Dank, Spice and AK-47. Throughout the morning and afternoon, emergency response units were dealing with victims who had soiled themselves or wandered incoherently around the street. Many synthetic marijuana products originate in China or India and the ingredients are constantly changed to circumvent federal and state laws. The National Institute on Drug Abuse stated in the literature on the issue that “synthetic marijuana is also known to have psychotic effects on some users.” One mother high on the drug killed her children in June of this year. States where the sale of recreational marijuana is legal, do not have the same level of abuse of K2 as compared to other states.

Mo Barnes
Mo Barnes

"Mo Betta" Maurice "Mo" Barnes is a graduate of Morehouse College and Political Scientist based in Atlanta. Mo is also a Blues musician.

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