Third synthetic marijuana user dies in IL after severe bleeding

Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed

Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed

Almost 100 people in five different states have been treated for severe bleeding after using synthetic marijuana, also known as K2, fake weed or spice.

"While La Salle/Livingston County has not seen any cases of severe bleeding caused by synthetic cannabinoid use yet, the number of people experiencing severe bleeding after using the synthetic drug is still increasing in the region", said health departments in La Salle and Livingston counties in a press release issued Friday.

The number was 56 cases a week ago. Two other deaths were reported, including a 22-year-old Chicago man who died in Oak Lawn. Symptoms included coughing up blood, blood in urine, a severe bloody nose, bleeding gums and/or internal bleeding, according to the statement.

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.

Police said the victim admitted to family members that he had used synthetic marijuana in the days preceding his death.

Three people are facing federal charges for allegedly selling synthetic marijuana to undercover officers at a mini-mart in the North Lawndale neighborhood of Chicago. "A lot of people don't know is what chemicals are in there, and in this situation what we're seeing is it's laced with rat poison".

Synthetic cannabis is available at convenience stores, gas stations, drug paraphernalia shops and novelty stores, as well as online.

Many synthetic cannabinoids are addictive, according to the CDC, and people who suddenly stop using them have reported adverse effects of withdrawal, including headaches, severe anxiety, and vomiting.

The Governor first expanded the list of prohibited drugs and chemicals in 2012 to include dozens more substances being used to make synthetic drugs, including synthetic marijuana, to ensure that distributors could no longer skirt the law by simply modifying the drug's ingredients. Many synthetic cannabinoids also are illegal.

Anyone who has a reaction was told to call 911 or go to the emergency room, officials said.

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