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.
Synthetic marijuana has been marketed to unsuspecting users as a legal and safe alternative to real marijuana, however, the opposite is usually true. Synthetic cannabinoids are manufactured and packaged in clandestine operations, sometimes overseas, without he oversight or testing that legal medications must unergo. People ingesting synthetic pot are essentially guinea pigs ingesting a product without knowing anything about what is actually in it.
Aa a result, people are getting sick and dying. The Illinois Poison Center logged over 250 cases of people becoming sick because of synthetic marijuana between 2015 -2017. And 2018 promises to be worse. According to the Daily Herald, the Illinois Department of Public Health has already reported 89 case of severe bleeding linked to synthetic cannabinoids, including two deaths as of last Thursday. The majority of those are from downstate, but 33 are from Chicago and the collar counties. The average age of those affected is between 25 and 34.
Parents with teenagers and young adults need to warn their children about these new dangers. Moreover, the state needs to figure out a better way to stay ahead of unscrupulous manufacturers who prey on young people if it hopes to prevent these kinds of outbreaks and deaths.
In the meantime, if your teen or adult child experiences unexplained bleeding, get them to a hospital as soon as possible. If synthetic marijuana is the cause of their illness, your next step should be to contact an experienced lawyer. The Collins Law Firm was the first law firm in the country to bring a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the family of someonewho died after ingesting synthetic marijuana. If you suspect that a loved one has died or become sick as a result of tainted synthetic marijuana, contact our experienced personal injury lawyers at (630) 527-1595, for a free consultation.