Did a mysterious forgetfulness sickness descend upon 221 sickened in Colorado by synthetic marijuana, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believes happened? Did part of the population suddenly forget that they live in a state where real marijuana is legal? We don’t know but the CDC is not a fan of the fake stuff, which is illegal in the state.
While it’s not like you can (currently) just walk up to any corner store and say hey, can I get some legal pot please, even if the fake stuff is easier to get, it appears to be sending people to the emergency room quite a bit in Colorado, reports the Associated Press.
That increase in ER visits led the CDC to join with state health officials to uncover a monthlong outbreak of people sickened by fake pot. Investigators found two new kinds in the state, ADBICA and ADB-PINACA, the latter which was also involved in a similar outbreak in Georgia.
Fake marijuana is dried plant material sprayed with synthetic cannabinoids so that it looks kind of like the real stuff, but it’s illegal in Colorado and other states, as well as the federal government, have been trying to ban it. It’s a squirrelly issue though, as the chemical makeup of the stuff can change so often.
Out of those 221 probable cases of fake pot sickening in Colorado, officials looked closer at 127 of those. Everyone who fell ill was from either the Denver area and Colorado Springs, were all about 26 and mostly male. Ten of those patients had to go into intensive care as a result. No deaths have been confirmed.
Again, it’s likely easier to get the fake stuff when you can walk into a store and buy it — well, four that were selling synthetic pot have been shut down, so maybe not — but again, it’s better to be safe, and legal, than sorry.
CDC: 221 sickened by synthetic pot in Colorado [USA Today]