W.Va. Overdoses Caused by Synthetic Drug Chemical

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Charleston police say a rash of overdoses has occurred in the city from a concentrated chemical used to make banned synthetic marijuana.

Police tell media outlets that a dozen people have overdosed in recent days on the powdery chemical. Some victims suffered respiratory distress and had to be placed on ventilators.

The chemical normally is used to coat the substance sold on the streets as synthetic marijuana. Detective Lt. Steve Cooper says the chemical that sickened people recently apparently was smoked in its pure form and wasn't diluted.

Cooper says the chemical was banned by state and federal governments when synthetic drug laws went into effect last year.

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