#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 8°C Friday 28 January 2022

Three dead in the US after spread of synthetic cannabis laced with rat poison

A number of other people have also been hospitalised by the contaminated drug, with symptoms such as coughing up blood and internal bleeding.

shutterstock_1015898797 Source: Shutterstock

AN OUTBREAK OF synthetic marijuana laced with rat poison has killed three and sickened more than 100 in the US Midwest, with officials worried about potentially more cases to come.

Synthetic marijuana is made with chemicals applied to dried plant material, and sold in small foil packages with street names such as Spice and K2. It is also produced in liquid form.

Officials in three Midwestern states are raising the alarm over recent outbreaks of illnesses caused by brodifacoum, a lethal blood thinner used in rat poison, which was in the synthetic cannabis that the victims consumed.

At least some of the poisonous drug was sold in Chicago.

In Illinois, a third death linked to the outbreak was reported last week. More than 100 other people have been hospitalised with severe symptoms, such as coughing up blood and internal bleeding.


A handful of other people have been sickened in neighboring states – Wisconsin to the north and Indiana to the southeast.

“Each day we’ve seen the number of cases rise,” Nirav Shah, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, warned in a statement.

Synthetic cannabinoids are unsafe. They are not regulated and people don’t know what chemicals may be in them, like rat poison.

The illegal drugs are sold in convenience stores, gas stations and online. Users smoke the drug or inhale it in vaping devices and e-cigarettes.

#Open journalism No news is bad news Support The Journal

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support us now

Police charged three suspects with selling the drug at a Chicago convenience store. Investigators allege the drugs had traces of rat poison.

Fouad Masoud, Jamil Abdelrahman Jad Allah and Adil Khan Mohammed were arrested on 1 April and charged with federal drug offences.

“While efforts are underway to get the contaminated drugs out of circulation, it’s possible they could re-emerge,” Shah said.

© – AFP, 2018

About the author:


Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel