Synthetic cannabis for years was sold under the guise of a cheaper alternative that allows users to dodge drug screenings.
And while there have been rashes of hospitalizations nationwide involving those who’ve ingested the drug, experts say they’ve never seen the severe side effects — internal bleeding in particular — that have killed at least two and sickened dozens in the Chicago area and central Illinois in the past month. Investigators say that while users have been smoking different brands of the synthetic cannabis, the common ingredient that may be leaving people ill is rat poisoning.
The problems are the result of a cat-and-mouse game playing out among government entities passing laws to ban synthetic cannabis products and manufacturers tweaking their recipes to keep the drug on the market — and money in their pockets, experts say.
The rat poison likely