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article image15 people sent to the hospital after smoking poisonous fake weed

By Owen Weldon     Jul 28, 2014 in Health
Synthetic marijuana is readily available in bodegas and head shops in New York, even though it was banned two years ago, and New Yorkers are increasingly getting sick from smoking it.
According to Gothamist, since Thursday 15 people in New York have been hospitalized with severe adverse reactions after smoking the fake weed. ER visits relating to fake weed were also up 220 percent in 2014.
According to NY Post, the fake weed caused some to have seizures and hallucinations.
The victims that were sent to the hospital since Thursday lived in either Harlem or Chelsea.
Dr. Mary Bassett, the Health Commissioner, said that it doesn't matter what fake weed is called, Spice, K2, Green Giant, it is dangerous and it is illegal. She continued to say that she urges people to steer clear of these products.
Fake weed is designed to mimic real pot's effects. In the past fake weed was sold legally in stores, and they were labeled as incense or potpourri, but the federal government banned it back in 2012.
Essentially the active ingredients — which can be dangerous — in synthetic marijuana are unknown, and they are ever-changing, and this is why there is no antidote available. Symptoms that show in users usually do not last longer than one to two hours.
The public is encouraged by health officials to contact 311 if they have any information on the sale of the drugs.
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