11K Hospitalized Over Artificial Pot Last Year

Third of ER visits from 12- to 17-year-olds: federal report

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 4, 2012 5:14 AM CST

(Newser) – Nearly 11,500 people were hospitalized last year after taking synthetic drugs meant to imitate marijuana, a new federal report finds. A third of those sent to the ER were kids ages 12 to 17, while 35% were 18- to 24-year-olds. Some 59% of the cases among those aged 12 to 29 involved no other substances, unlike in most drug abuse hospitalizations. The synthetic substances include Spice and K2, which are labeled as herbal incense and advertised as a legal marijuana substitute, USA Today notes. In comparison, 461,028 people went to the ER in 2010 after using marijuana itself.

This Feb. 15, 2010, file photo shows a package of K2, a concoction of dried herbs sprayed with chemicals.
This Feb. 15, 2010, file photo shows a package of K2, a concoction of dried herbs sprayed with chemicals.   (AP Photo/Kelley McCall, File)
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