According to WSVN Miami, fake pot that was probably tainted with rat poison has caused the deaths of three people in Illinois. The fake pot also caused severe bleeding in 100+ other people, including a couple from other states that include: Indiana, Missouri, Wisconsin, and Maryland. The outbreak reportedly began in early March, and with seven new cases reported on Tuesday, the total number of those affected has now reached 116.
As a result, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has sent out an alert to doctors across the country to warn them that patients experiencing unexplained (and severe) bleeding may have smoked the extremely suspect product. Symptoms appear to have a very bloody theme, as they include: coughing up blood, severe bloody noses, internal bleeding, bleeding gums, and pissing blood.
The CDC, as well as Illinois authorities, say that several patients and samples of the synthetic pot have produced positive tests for a harmful ingredient often found in rat poison. According to the CDC's Renee Funk, this is the first time an illness caused by fake pot has been linked to rat poison contamination. She added that those who are afflicted with the unfortunate symptoms require hospitalization and vitamin K to control the bleeding.
"The number of cases continues to go up each day,” Melaney Arnold, spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Public Health added on Tuesday. “Synthetic cannabinoids, in general, are not safe and this is one example of not knowing what chemicals are in the product. We are telling people don’t use synthetic cannabinoids.”
Some products/ingredients mentioned by Arnold have been banned in some states, but the CDC says manufacturers can get around this by making new products and slapping them with a "not for human consumption" label.
Additionally, fake pot bought on Tuesday by undercover agents at a Chicago convenience store tested positive for the rat poison ingredient. As a result, three employees from that store were arrested and now face federal drug charges.