A Project for Better Journalism chapter
around the world

Synthetic marijuana responsible for another death

A women from central Illinois has become the fourth person in the state to die from synthetic marijuana, officials announced Tuesday. The woman, whose name was not disclosed, was in her 30s, the Illinois department of public health reported. Health officials reported that 153 people in 13 counties in Illinois have gotten sick from synthetic marijuana believed to be laced with rat poison. Most victims are from the Chicago and Peoria areas. In recent weeks, victims have begun showing up in the hospital emergency rooms after coughing up blood,bleeding in the urine, nose or gums, or having internal bleeding. It was determined that they were suffering from a chemical found in rat poison called brodifacoum, which prevents blood from clotting. Patients are treated with intravenous transfusion of vitamin K to restore their blood clotting ability.