Spike in synthetic marijuana overdose cases, Minneapolis Police make arrests

Published: Nov. 5, 2017 at 2:46 PM CST
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After seeing a sharp spike in synthetic marijuana overdoses, Minneapolis police are making arrests in connection to the cases.

It was one of largest overdose spikes in recent memory in Hennepin County with 128 people overdosing on synthetic marijuana in just two months.

It was Hennepin County's paramedics that first noticed a trend. Most of the overdoses happened inside a few blocks' radius.

The users experienced a wide range of severe, life-threatening symptoms, such as anxiety, paranoia, psychosis, and periods of unconsciousness.

Medical experts say that synthetic marijuana targets the same receptors in the brain as real marijuana, but the reactions are often much more intense.

As the overdoses piled up, Minneapolis police took a closer look, making six arrests this week. Three now face felony drug charges.

KMSP-TV reports it's a problem showing no signs of going away. In the last year, statewide, there have been 177 recorded overdoses linked to synthetic marijuana. Often, it's a cheaper option and easily found on the street, but it comes with potential consequences that can be life-changing.