The Wisconsin Department of Health Services issuing warnings against using fake marijuana after users in Illinois have been sickened or killed by the drugs.
The state started investigating the case after Illinois officials reported 95 people who were suffering from severe bleeding after ingesting some of the drugs. Two people have died so far in Illinois.
The synthetic cannabinoids are often sold in novelty stores or convenience stores and can come in packages of dried plants or as liquids for e-smoking devices.
DHS chief medical officer Jon Meiman says officials have determined that a chemical used as rat poison has been found in the fake pot that’s been confiscated. “This chemical gets in the body, it stays in there for a long period of time and can cause some serious bleeding problems that require urgent treatment and treatment for weeks or even months.”
That’s one of the real dangers of taking these drugs, according to Meiman. “It’s not really one drug, it’s hundreds of different drugs and we don’t really know how they work. All of them can kind of work differently on the brain and their effects can really be unpredictable.”
Illinois law enforcement has made several arrests in the case, and are still working to determine just why and how the rat poison ended up in the drugs.
Call 911 or go to the emergency department right away if you or someone you know has a serious reaction to synthetic cannabinoids.