Synthetic Marijuana is not Marijuana
Synthetic Marijuana, some times referred to K2 or Spice, is not what it sounds. It is disturbing and upsetting to hear in a recent report on CNN, Synthetic cannabinoids have been tied to 56 cases of severe bleeding, including two deaths, across Chicago and areas in central Illinois. All of the cases required hospitalization related to coughing up blood, blood in the urine, bloody nose, bleeding gums and other symptoms. Nine of the cases tested positive for brodifacoum, or rat poison, according to a statement from the Illinois Department of Public Health on Monday (April 2nd, 2018).
In the past few years, doctors have become familiar with the health outcomes people can face when they are exposed to synthetic cannabinoids, said Dr. Patrick Lank, an emergency physician and assistant professor of emergency medicine at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Illinois. “They include things like seizures, heart attack, kidney failure,” said Lank, who was not involved in the recent synthetic cannabinoid cases.
These are only a few cases recently reported. Last year, 102 people in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, overdosed on synthetic marijuana within three days. None of those cases was fatal.
Spice is particularly dangerous because the exact formula used to make the drug is unknown. Some of its ingredients could be poisonous on their own, let alone when mixed with a combination of other deadly chemicals. When will people understand that these types of chemicals are harmful for consumption. K2 or Spice enforcement is further complicated because the chemicals in which they use to make the product continues to adapt. Since manufacturers are constantly changing the chemicals in the process, stopping manufacturers from importing into the country is harder to identify and enforce.
Synthetic cannabinoids, or fake weed, are human-made chemicals that can be sprinkled on dried, shredded plant material and smoked, or can be consumed as vaporized liquids inhaled through an e-cigarette or other device. While these mind-altering chemicals maybe called cannabinoids and claimed to be similar to the chemicals found in marijuana, they are not cannabinoids. These chemicals can cause serious side effects that are different from those of marijuana.
The fear mongering needs to stop and stop soon. We need to legalize cannabis federally so we stop pushing people to look for alternatives. If “marijuana” was legal, we would not have people trying “synthetic marijuana,” there would be no desire. This phenomenon is only occurring because certain groups in society deem bad people consume cannabis and push for mandated drug testing. This game needs to end, people are dying.