Essex County News

Rash of Individuals Get Sick After Ingesting Synthetic Pot

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NEWARK, NJ - Synthetic marijuana is making its rounds again, as Newark police are reporting a day-long rash of incidents associated with the substance.

More than 10 incidents were reported at various locations throughout the city yesterday, as calls came in regarding individuals suffering from a variety of symptoms, according to Captain Derek Glenn, Newark PD Public Safety Officer.

The first reported incident was called in to police at around 8 a.m. from the area of Park Place, with 10 subsequent calls received by the Newark PD throughout the day.

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Police are investigating the likelihood that the incidents were caused by synthetic marijuana, or K2.

Synthetic marijuana, which physically resembles real marijuana, is a blend of industrial chemicals sprayed on dried leaves and sold under a variety of brand names, K2 being just one of several.

Use of the substance can cause erratic behavior, seizures, hallucinations, vomiting and psychosis.

Emergency medical personnel from Newark’s University Hospital responded to the calls and established a base camp triage operation and Strike Team at Branch Brook Park to deal with the influx of patients.

The incidents come months after sweeping arrests of K2 users throughout the city.

According to Glenn, Newark police arrested about 20 people in April, after dozens got sick from the substance.

“In April, we had the narcotics guys investigating in the area and trying to identify the individuals responsible,” Glenn said.

Glenn said that the individuals yesterday had several of the symptoms of K2 ingestion.

“There were people passed out and they were foaming at the mouth,” he said.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to call the Department's 24-hour Crime Stopper tip line at 1-877-NWK-TIPS (1-877-695-8477) or 1-877-NWK-GUNS (1-877-695-4867).  All anonymous Crime Stopper tips are kept confidential and could result in a reward.

 

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