It’s been mere months since an Aurora shop owner, a distributor and an Iowa manufacturer were sentenced to jail for furnishing the synthetic marijuana which killed a young man, but “fake” marijuana is back in the news again, this time responsible for killing three people and sickening more than 107 others in Illinois.
We represented the family of the young man from Aurora in a lawsuit against the people responsible. As a result of his case and others, the governor and Illinois legislature passed an amendment to the state’s Controlled Substance Act last spring, aimed at stopping the sale of synthetic marijuana. So, how are synthetic cannabinoids still out there? According to the Chicago Tribune, unethical and greedy manufacturers of the drug simply change the formula to skirt new laws. This time around, the new formula includes a chemical called brodifacoum, which is commonly used as rat poison. The poison prevents the blood from clotting, which makes this version of synthetic marijuana even more dangerous than past formulas.
People who ingest the synthetic marijuana can start bleeding from multiple sites on the body including the mouth, nose, eyes and ears. The rat poison is stronger than the blood thinning drug warfarin and stays in the body for a long time. Hospitals have been treating people with symptoms ranging from bleeding gums and noses, to internal bleeding and blood in their urine and stools. These patients require long-term vitamin K treatment to recover.