Experts say that synthetic marijuana can have a lot of side effects. And when users are rushing to the emergency room, there is a good chance the packets are tainted with other chemicals.
Synthetic marijuana, more commonly known as Spice or K2, sent overdose victims to hospitals over Memorial Day weekend.
On May 29 the case count stood at nine, and as of yesterday morning the case count has risen to 14.
The Alachua County Sheriff’s office began noticing the sale of Spice in 2011. A similar problem in 2014 sent more than 30 people to the hospital.
“Right now this seems to be associated with our local homeless population here in Gainesville: the GRACE Marketplace, the park across from the St. Francis house and downtown Gainesville. We are working with our law enforcement partners to try and determine what the source of this is because as of right now, we just don’t know,” said Deputy Secretary for Alachua County Health Systems Paul Myers.
GRACE Marketplace operations director Jon DeCarmine told WUFT he was not aware of any incidents with Spice this weekend.
The state of Florida tries to keep up with banning chemical formulas, but authorities say some local shops may sell the packets illegally.