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Profiles In Prohibition: “Synthetic Marijuana” A Deadly Consequence of the Drug War


Article by Richard Cowan, former NORML National Director and author of What Do You Know About CBD Oil?


There is no record of anyone dying of a marijuana “overdose”. I am sure that people have died as a result of doing something stupid when stoned, but I am certain that people do stupid things without marijuana, even in voting booths.


Like electing prohibitionists who create markets for “synthetic marijuana.” And people do die as a consequence of thinking it is as safe as the real thing.


In fact, WebMD.com has reported that the FDA Warns of Deaths Tied to Tainted Synthetic Pot


“Synthetic marijuana products contaminated with an ingredient found in rat poison have caused several deaths and hundreds of hospitalizations in the United States recently, federal health officials report.


The contaminant — a blood thinner called brodifacoum — can cause severe bleeding and has been found in synthetic marijuana products with names such as K2 and Spice, which are sold in convenience stores and gas stations. The bleeding risk can last for several weeks, the Food and Drug Administration said Thursday in a news release.


There's no way to tell if a synthetic marijuana product contains brodifacoum, and the FDA said people should avoid all such products.


Of course, given the nature of contraband markets there is not any single formula for “Synthetic cannabinoids”.


Fentanyl is sometimes sold as heroin. “Meth” might be any number of chemicals. And of course, Methanol which can be deadly, is often sold as alcohol when the less toxic real thing is banned. In May, The Guardian reported


“Mexico: at least 35 people die in mass bad-alcohol poisoning

It is unclear if poisonings were related to coronavirus lockdowns as beer production was halted more than a month ago” 


As marijuana legalization progresses state by state the demand for “synthetic marijuana” will evaporate, but in the meantime, it is important that people understand that just because they lied about real marijuana doesn’t mean that they have lied about the synthetic versions. 


Of course, Americans under the age of twenty-one will still not be able to buy real marijuana or beer, even as they can vote or go to war or be tried as an adult. 




We may think we are protecting teens, but we are really just protecting the black market.


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