New York officials issue alert about fentanyl-laced synthetic marijuana

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Synthetic marijuana, commonly available at small convenience stores, gas stations, and online, now poses an even graver risk. A New York county health department has sounded the alarm about synthetic marijuana infused with fentanyl, a potent opioid. Synthetic marijuana, also known as K2, Spice, or a variety of other names, consists of man-made chemicals designed to mimic the effects of natural cannabis compounds. The Onondaga County Health Department has recently identified fentanyl in some synthetic marijuana products, prompting a serious warning.

“Synthetic marijuana products often contain harmful substances. Now that we have received reports of fentanyl in some of these products being sold locally, residents must exercise extreme caution as the substances could cause overdose or even death,” emphasized Onondaga County Health Commissioner Dr. Kathryn Anderson in a statement.

It is crucial to note that synthetic cannabinoids, despite their availability, are not approved for human consumption. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, law enforcement have encountered a multitude of synthetic cannabinoids since 2009, marketed as “legal” alternatives to marijuana. Sold with labels stating “not for human consumption,” these products aim to evade criminal prosecution for manufacturers, distributors, and retail sellers. This deceptive marketing strategy makes dangerous psychoactive substances widely accessible without providing information on potential health risks.

Some of the many street names associated with synthetic marijuana include “Spice,” “K2,” “Blaze,” “RedX Dawn,” “Paradise,” “Demon,” “Black Magic,” “Spike,” “Mr. Nice Guy,” “Ninja,” “Zohai,” “Dream,” “Genie,” “Sence,” “Smoke,” “Skunk,” “Serenity,” “Yucatan,” “Fire,” “Skooby Snax,” and “Crazy Clown.”