It seems the synthetic marijuana overdoses that had the authorities in Washington, D.C worried in July have resurfaced after a lull. In one 24-hour period alone, first responders were called to assist dozens of people who exhibited severe signs of distress from K2 or Spice, a known synthetic form of cannabis.
Even more distressing is the fact that students witnessed some of the victims being helped on the street as the students were strolling about during their break. This was near Mundo Verde Bilingual Public School. The authorities responded by imposing restrictions on how far students could go during their break.
Some of the symptoms exhibited by the people overdosing on K2 are particularly worrying. The known chemicals from which K2 are made don’t usually cause users to bleed in the way that some of the D.C. victims have been seen to bleed.
One possible explanation for that bleeding may have been found after toxicological tests revealed that the synthetic marijuana was laced with the chemical brodifacoum. This is a substance that is used to make rat poison and other pesticides.
The chemical stops vitamin K from doing its work in the blood of the organisms that ingest it. Consequently, vital processes, such as blood clotting, will be affected, and bleeding will result.
The consumers, especially low-income people, don’t seem to be bothered by the risk of K2 and other synthetic forms of marijuana. To them, all that seems matters is that they get a high at an affordable cost.
Authorities say that they have been compelled to play cat and mouse games with the people who make or distribute these synthetic forms of marijuana. This is because the chemicals used are often permitted chemicals, except that the formulas used aren’t approved. Banning one chemical found to be harmful only spurs the makers of the product to switch to another unknown product.
Furthermore, distributors often escape regulatory scrutiny by labeling the synthetic marijuana as “not for human consumption”. The CDC, DEA and other agencies are therefore often chasing a ghost that is hard to pin down.
However, the authorities are now determined to hunt down and stamp out these dangerous products whose overdoses have reached crisis level and are spreading to various parts of the country.
The big question on many people’s minds is that if this is happening in Washington, D.C., where marijuana is legal, can something be done to make the legal product more affordable for those with limited means? You can bet your last dollar that Marijuana Company of America Inc. (OTC: MCOA) and NUGL Inc. (OTC: NUGL) are praying that these products be wiped out so that the industry doesn’t get a bad reputation at this early stage.
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