At Least 13 Sickened by Synthetic Marijuana in Tulsa
Tulsa Police, Fire and EMSA get a rash of calls for overdoses preliminary investigations have linked to synthetic marijuana, often called K2.
In all, at least 13 people were sickened and 12 taken to the hospital. The patients are from five unrelated incidents between 6 and 10 a.m.
Ten were guests at Iron Gate, a downtown soup kitchen and food pantry. Nine of them went to the hospital, with three of those nine in serious condition. The tenth refused transportation to a hospital.
"They allegedly used the drugs off property and then came back here, and that's when they had the severe reaction to K2," said Iron Gate spokeswoman Meghann Ray.
Tulsa Police Officer Leland Ashley said some of the people transported from Iron Gate said they’d used a substance like K2.
"The individuals are using synthetic incense or things they go to these convenience stores and purchase to smoke," Ashley said. "A lot of people say you get the same effect as a marijuana high, but what you see with a lot of these individuals [is] you get out of control, you get sick."
In four other calls, a 12-year-old girl, a 16-year-old girl, a 20-year-old woman and a 30-year-old man were taken to hospitals. EMSA says those patients were similar in nature.
In the last year, TPD has conducted several raids on businesses selling substances like K2. Ashley said when they get a sample, it’s sent to the lab for testing.
"These companies realize that certain ingredients have been banned, so they'll find another synthetic substance to use in these products," Ashley said. "It's very dangerous for individuals to ingest these types of products."
No arrests have been made.