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Synthetic pot generates national warning to ER docs

McCrimmon, K.K.

A report on the health risks of synthetic marijuana, also known as K2, Spice, and Black Mamba. Presents hospital emergency room data showing an increase in dangerous reactions among users of synthetic marijuana. Reports that the newest forms of the drug are causing seizures in users, and at least one death. Notes that the most frequent users of the drug are young males, and suggests that public health campaigns should inform them that synthetic pot is more similar to methamphetamine than cannabis. Discusses the details of a recent outbreak in Colorado, which sent over 250 users to the ER. Presents findings of a study on these cases, noting that 15% suffered seizures and 13% were placed on ventilators in ICUs. In addition to public awareness campaigns, advocates are seeking tougher prohibitions on the sale of synthetic drugs.

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