Rodent poison in fake weed kills 2, more hospitalized

Posted April 07, 2018

The reported death comes less than a week after IL officials reported an outbreak of 89 cases since March 7 of severe bleeding linked to contaminated drugs. How did a risky chemical like brodifacoum, which does not create a sensation of being high, end up in synthetic marijuana?

Officials suspect use of synthetic marijuana might be linked to a third death in IL.

The Department of Health Services says the so-called "fake weed" is unsafe and health effects from using these products can be life-threatening.

The anticoagulant brodifacoum was discovered during the investigation into his death, the medical examiner's office said.

The person, who was not identified because of privacy laws, went to an emergency room April 3 after experiencing unusual bruising and bleeding from several parts of the body, said Bruce Anderson, executive director of the Maryland Poison Center at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. The medical examiner's office is also investigating a second case that presented with similar hemorrhaging, or bleeding.

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"While public health officials in MI have not been made aware of any cases to date, the fact IL is a neighboring state gives us cause for concern", said Dr. Eden Wells, MDHHS chief medical executive. Other interventions may be necessary. Truck drivers who are bringing bags of sodas and chips into petrol channels and also bodegas are frequently compensated to distribute the drug, she said; clients cover around $10 for a 5-gram deal.

But officials here said they still have unanswered, vexing questions: How much of the tainted drug is still circulating throughout the Midwest, and how many more people will be sickened?

The owner of a West Side mini mart and two employees were charged earlier this week with selling synthetic cannabis laced with rat poison.

Synthetic cannabinoids are chemicals sprayed on dried, shredded plant material so they can be smoked or converted to liquids to be vaporized and inhaled in e-cigarettes.

Other labels given to the product include "K2" and " Spice", two brand names that have now become part of the drug lexicon.