WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-IL), issued the following statement as a result of the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) reporting 107 cases of synthetic cannabis use resulting in severe bleeding, and three deaths. Two of the recent fatalities came from Peoria and Tazewell Counties.
“I want to be very clear, synthetic cannabinoids are literally killing people across central Illinois right now and we need everyone’s help to get the word out before they claim another life,” said Congresswoman Cheri Bustos. “The Illinois Department of Health and law enforcement officials are working as fast as they can to get to the root of this problem, but we can’t stop the spread of this deadly substance without help from the community. If you or someone you know have taken K2, Spice or any other kind of synthetic cannabinoids and are having a medical reaction, I strongly urge you to call 911 as soon as possible.”
Synthetic cannabinoids are human-made, mind-altering chemicals that are sprayed on to dried plant material. IDPH is investigating to try to identify any common products and determine where they were obtained. In the past, synthetic cannabinoids have been found across Illinois and the U.S. in convenience stores, gas stations, drug paraphernalia shops, novelty stores, and online. Recent reports indicated that the deadly versions of these products have included chemical compounds that appear to be rat poison. Synthetic cannabinoid brands and packaging often are sold K2, Spice, Black Mamba, Bombay Blue, Genie, Zohai and other names.
For additional information and resources, please visit the Illinois Department of Public Health’s website.