11K Hospitalized Over Artificial Pot Last Year
Third of ER visits from 12- to 17-year-olds: federal report
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Dec 4, 2012 5:14 AM CST
This Feb. 15, 2010, file photo shows a package of K2, a concoction of dried herbs sprayed with chemicals.   (AP Photo/Kelley McCall, File)

(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.

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Dec 5, 2012 1:55 PM CST
according to the CDC, in 2010, the last year mentioned, there were 189K people admitted to ER's for alcohol related causes...and that's just the ones who were UNDERAGE. So all this article is REALLY saying is that K2 causes less than one-tenth as many ER visits as ALCOHOL, but they don't report on that in nearly the hysterical tone with which they mention K2. WOW, the alcohol manufacturers in this country sure do have a powerful lobby, don't they? http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/underage-drinking.htm ;)
Dec 5, 2012 1:31 PM CST
LOL, headline should say, "11k people are amateur drug-users and too stupid to understand moderation, and their STUPIDITY resulted in a DESERVEDLY bad experience." Sorry, to contradict the hysteria of the article, but I used those synthetics regularly with very pleasant and completely harmless results for 5 years, and I feel imminently qualified to report that anyone who had bad experience with them has only their own stupidity to blame. And as to "health effects/organ failure", I am 35 yrs old, just had a physical where my doctor happily reported that I am in remarkably good health with all organ-function showing absolutely normal results. The best of the synthetic brands were LITERALLY indistinguishable from the real thing; k-2 was simply a lousy brand. Drugs DO NOT abuse people; people abuse drugs.
Dec 5, 2012 6:42 AM CST
Just legalize the real thing?