The Illinois Department of Public Health says synthetic cannabinoids have now claimed the lives of three men, including two in their 20s and a third in in his 40s.
Authorities say several patients and samples of fake weed from IL have tested positive for a lethal ingredient often used in rat poison.
The Illinois Department of Public Health has warned that some appear to have been contaminated, and 107 people have experienced severe hemorrhaging after using it. Cases have also been reported in New York, Maryland, Wisconsin, Indiana and Missouri.
This comes a week after officials with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services sent out a warning to residents about the spike in issues linked to the use of synthetic marijuana containing brodifacoum in neighboring IL.
The third synthetic marijuana-related fatality comes after three Chicago-area convenience store clerks were charged for allegedly selling synthetic cannabinoids laced with rodent poison, police said. Symptoms included coughing up blood, blood in urine, a severe bloody nose, bleeding gums and/or internal bleeding, according to the statement.
Melaney Arnold of IDPH says, "These are unregulated products so it's hard to determine where they're coming from". "They are not regulated and people don't know what chemicals may be in them, like rate poison". Stores can lose liquor and lottery licenses for illegal synthetic drug sales.
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Synthetic marijuana, also known as fake weed, is sold for recreational use under the names K2, Spice, Black Mamba, Bombay Blue, Genie and Zohai, among others.
Many different chemical compounds are used to manufacture so-called synthetic marijuana.
MI health officials issued a warning to the public to be aware of the cases.
The federal government and many states have banned some of these products or specific ingredients, but the CDC says manufacturers skirt these laws by creating new products or labeling them "not for human consumption".
Anyone showing symptoms needs immediate medical attention but should call for assistance or have someone take them to a hospital emergency room.