Almost 1,000 sick from synthetic marijuana in Mississippi

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JACKSON, Miss. -- Synthetic marijuana could be the cause of 14 deaths in Mississippi since April.

The Mississippi State Health Department in Jackson  warned people about illegal products such as K-2 and spice.

They said those products are poisonous.

State Epidemiologist Dr. Thomas Dobbs said synthetic marijuana maybe killing people all across Mississippi.

"We are actually investigating at this point 14 deaths.14 dead people perhaps from using synthetic marijuana," he said.

That was just since April 2.

More than 800 people in Mississippi got sick from products like K-2 and Spice last month.

While they may not be classified as actual drugs, they are still illegal.

Dobbs said they can be just as dangerous as strong narcotics.

"Somethings that have been seen in YouTube videos and things about people acting crazy, rolling around, taking their clothes off," he said.  "That's a pretty common effect that's been witnessed."

The American Association of Poison Control Centers reported more than 1500 people nationally were poisoned by synthetic marijuana in April.

That was up from 269 in March.

That meant Mississippi accounts for more than half the poisonings last month.

Doctors said they are trying to make sure people know about those dangers and how even your first puff could be your last.

"It's not a safe form of marijuana. It's not related to marijuana," Dobbs said. "It's a totally different chemical that is being made in the lab overseas with no regard to safety."

Health officials said one of the biggest dangers associated with synthetic marijuana was that chemical makers constantly changed the ingredients.

So, you never really know what you are smoking.

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