By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Police: Toxic fake weed not yet found in area
Placeholder Image
MONROE - A recent alert by the Center for Disease Control that has notified the public of fake marijuana laced with ingredients in rat poison found throughout five states since March 10 has reached Green County authorities, but officers have yet to see any local residents affected.

Green County Sheriff Mark Rohloff said in an email that the department has not "experienced any incidents of this nature."

Within the span of a month, more than 116 cases were reported in Illinois, including three deaths. Patients experienced severe and unexplained bleeding, with symptoms that include coughing up blood, blood in urine, severe bloody noses, bleeding gums and internal bleeding. These are in addition to health risks generally posed by manmade cannabis, such as vomiting, seizures and violent behavior, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Aside from the cases reported by the Illinois Department of Public Health, which span across eight counties and multiple age groups, the CDC has found patients have been treated in Missouri, Maryland, Indiana and Wisconsin for the same problem. According to the IDPH, the number of reports had increased to 131 as of Monday.

Rohloff indicated that a bulletin had been sent April 5, notifying the office that reports had been received from Madison and Milwaukee of individuals admitted to the hospital because of uncontrolled bleeding but were not necessarily a result of poisoned materials.

"Many different chemical compounds are used to manufacture synthetic marijuana, which is intended to mimic the effects of the drug, but are often far more dangerous for users," Rohloff said. "They are known to be unpredictable and dangerous ... Whether the use of rat poison has been confirmed elsewhere, I do not know, but the uncontrolled internal bleeding effects are similar."

Synthetic cannabinoids, or fake marijuana, consists of shredded plant material treated with chemical cannabis and goes by common misnomers like "Spice," "K2" or "The Joker." The materials have been banned in Wisconsin since July 2011.

Monroe Police Chief Fred Kelley echoed Rohloff's findings, saying that while he has been notified of such problems within Wisconsin and Illinois via bulletins, there have been no cases discovered within the city.