16 Fall Ill after Taking Synthetic Marijuana, San Diego Police Say
A synthetic version of marijuana known as "spice" has sickened 16 people in downtown San Diego this past Saturday, the police stated. The majority of the patients were young adults in their late teens and early 20s.
This is the second weekend when paramedics have been called to treat overdoses related to spice. During the first weekend, eight people, including a 13-year-old, required medical treatment after taking the drug.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., there were at least 10 calls made to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department, spokesman Lee Swanson said. 11 patients were admitted to the hospital and three were considered to be in serious condition although none of the situations were considered to be life threatening. No deaths were reported either.
"Very similar to last weekend. In some of the incidents, we were able to recover remnants of spice, the packaging and what appears to be a tobacco-like substance inside the packaging itself," said San Diego Police Department's Sergeant Arthur Scott.
Some of the symptoms that the patients experienced were mild nausea, agitation, rapid heartbeat, trouble breathing, bloody nose and seizures.
Spice, which comes in a packet usually with a skull or blue dragon on it, contains chemicals that can make the users hallucinate. The drug is not made from cannabis.
The police are currently investigating where spice came from and how it is being distributed. They believe that drug users are buying spice near Imperial and 12th.
Spice has been illegal in California since 2012.