The Lake Charles Police Department says 45 people have been hospitalized since Friday after they smoked a certain type of synthetic marijuana.
The department is handling 30 different incidents in which someone smoked the synthetic pot, and then immediately became unconscious, police say. Acadian Ambulance reports transporting 45 people to hospitals since Friday, police say.
Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso says his department is handling similar calls, a spokesman said.
Synthetic marijuana was made illegal on August 15th, 2010 and there are currently no means to obtain the substance legally. It comes packaged under various brand names such as “K2” and “Spice” however the new brands and possibly the ones causing the health concern are called “Bubblegum” and “Gumbo,” the spokesman said.
The Combined Anti-drug Task Force (CAT) is aware of the concern and is attempting to understand what is making this substance even more dangerous and just where the substance is coming from. As with all illegal narcotics, this should not be consumed by anyone.
The Lake Charles Police Department and the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office urges everyone to stay away from these products and to be alert if you know anyone who uses these products and call 911 immediately.
Police in Connecticut reported a similar incident earlier this month. To read that story, click here.