Synthetic Marijuana Possibly Linked to Three Colorado Deaths

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Photo by Wendy Galietta/The Washington Post via Getty Images(DENVER) — The Center for Disease Control and Prevention and Colorado health officials are investigating synthetic marijuana after three people died and dozens more were hospitalized from using the substance.

State and local health officials will be working with area hospitals to review records of patients who were admitted after suffering effects of smoking synthetic marijuana. Approximately 75 people reported using the substance and may have been seen at hospitals in the Colorado Springs and the Denver metro area since late August.

Dr. Tista Ghosh, interim chief medical officer for the state, said several individuals were in intensive care and three deaths are being investigated as possibly associated.

Synthetic marijuana has been marketed under several names, including K2, Black Mamba and Spice, and many packages are labeled “not for human consumption.” The substance blends plant and herbal materials that have been sprayed with chemicals, producing mind-altering affects, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

“Don’t wait for the results of this investigation,” Ghosh said. “If you have synthetic marijuana, stop using it and destroy it.”

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