Html” target=” blank”> arrested three men for selling synthetic marijuana that they believe is connected to two recent deaths and dozens of hospitalizations in Chicago. The Illinois Department of Public Health reports that over the past month, at least 56 people have been hospitalized in central Illinois after using synthetic cannabinoids. Gov/news/second-death-individual-who-used-synthetic-cannabinoids” target=” blank”> said in a statement.
With two fatalities so far linked to this batch of fake weed, state health officials are concerned that more deaths will follow. Html” target=” blank”> said to CNN. Html” target=” blank”> DEA agents arrested three men in connection with selling synthetic weed through their convenience store in Chicago’s West Side. Federal prosecutors have charged 48-year-old Fouad Masoud, 44-year-old Jad Allah, and 44-year-old Adil Khan Mohammed with conspiring to distribute and sell a controlled substance.
An undercover officer allegedly purchased synthetic cannabis being sold as “Blue Giant,” “Crazy Monkey,” and “Matrix” from Masoud’s shop. Html” target=” blank”> 2,000 more grams of synthetic weed on the premises. Police then arrested Masoud at his home, and discovered an additional 2,900 grams of suspected synthetic weed labeled as “Purple Giant,” along with a grocery bag containing $280,000 in cash.
Every batch of synthetic marijuana can vary widely, as illegal chemists are free to add any chemicals that they wish to the mix. Gov/news/second-death-individual-who-used-synthetic-cannabinoids” target=” blank”> commonly used as rat poison. Html” target=” blank”> synthetic marijuana can cause an increased heart rate, vomiting, agitation, hallucinations, heart attacks, or seizures, but this specific batch seems to be one of the most deadly mixtures encountered to date.
While local and federal law enforcement work to crack down on street-level synthetic weed dealers, local politicians are looking at a broader solution. If legal weed does indeed become available, the appeal of fake weed will hopefully diminish in favor of a legal, natural high.