Illinois -- The cultivation, trafficking, sale, or possession of marijuana is a crime in Illinois under the state's Controlled Substances Act. While being caught with less than ten grams will only get you a citation, those caught with more than ten grams will face heavy fines and years potential behind bars. The prohibition of cannabis in Illinois has led to a black market in which very dangerous substances have risen to fill the void left by government extorting, kidnapping, and caging people for this beneficial plant.
The state is now realizing the detrimental effects of prosecuting people for possessing a plant as teenagers and adults alike are suffering from horror movie-like side effects from the dangerous chemicals pumped into the market solely due to the fact that marijuana is illegal.
While the government calls this dangerous chemical "synthetic marijuana," in reality, "spice" or "K2" and all other forms of this chemically sprayed lawn clippings designed to give users a high, has nothing at all to do with marijuana other than the fact that they sometimes react with the same receptors as marijuana.
Spice is not derived from nor based on thc. And, in fact, it is a cocktail of hundreds of different chemicals manufactured and sold, according to the Illinois Department of Public health.
Side effects include hallucinations, psychosis, dizziness, stroke, seizures, kidney failure, heart attack and death, reports the Center for Disease Control.
In all of human history there has never been a single recorded death from the use of cannabis. However, the side-effects of this chemical that filled the void created by the prohibition of this safe plant include death and now, it is causing its users to bleed from their eyes, ears, and noses -- like something out of a horror movie.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the Illinois Department of Public Health issued a warning about synthetic “weed” known as “spice,” “K2” or “Mind Trip” on March 27. At that time, there were six people who reported “severe bleeding” after taking the fake pot since March 7, according to the state department. However, it has since gotten worse.
By March 29, that number grew to 22 people, and according to some reports, by Friday, more than 32 people have reported bleeding from the eyes, nose, and ears thanks to this synthetic garbage being peddled across the state in marijuana's place.
“This bleeding is not expected,” Dr. Melissa Millewich, an emergency room physician at an Illinois hospital, told the Chicago Tribune, “at least in such a significant population so quickly.”
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Synthetic drugs popping up across the country is a direct market reaction to the war on drugs.
Because psychoactive drugs that humans have used for centuries have been banned by most modern governments, people turn to synthetic attempts at mimicking the high. Just as Spice has emerged to supposedly mimic cannabis, meth became sought after to mimic cocaine and when meth was banned, flakka came in to fill the void.
But the difference is, Spice, flakka, and often times, meth cause psychotic symptoms, bodily damage and death, whereas cannabis has never caused an overdose and has well-recognized medicinal value. Cocaine and its synthetic counterpart, meth, sourced from the black market, which is laced with other unknown chemicals, can cause overdose and death.
As TFTP reported last month, a 20-year-old woman walked up to the South Main Chapel in upstate South Carolina and began prying her eyes from her head using her own fingers. As good Samaritans and first responders tried to stop her, she fought them off successfully and is now permanently blind. She was likely on one of these synthetic compounds as she admitted to smoking "marijuana that was laced."
We should have learned the lesson that prohibition only causes greater harm, during the miserable attempt at alcohol prohibition from 1920 to 1933. When government attempted to ban alcohol, its production and distribution shifted to the black market, and people suffered and died.
Reports of blindness and death were common as people attempted to make their own alcohol but failed to realize the dangerous by-products that can be produced. Bootleg alcohol fueled violent criminal gangs exploiting prohibition for financial gain. We are seeing the exact same scenario play out today.
There will always be demand for psychoactive drugs, and there will always be supply to meet this demand. If government attempts to ban substances, making it a little harder for some people to get things like cocaine, they will synthesize some other, more dangerous substance.
If prohibition continues, bleeding from the eyes may just be the beginning. For anyone who's ever watch videos of flakka-induced rages on YouTube, the drug war could very well bring on something that looks like a zombie apocalypse.
Indeed, if we truly want to prevent these horrifying incidents from occurring, the time to end the drug war is now.