NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Health Department have issued a warning against smoking synthetic marijuana.

In the past week alone, more than 160 people have been hospitalized with bad reactions after using the drug, WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported.

That’s an average of two to three synthetic marijuana-related emergency room visits each day, CBS2 reported.

As CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported, the substance looks leafy, but what you can’t see are the added chemicals that are sending users to hospitals and even the morgue.

To give the dried vegetation he power to produce a potent marijuana-like high, its designers add rad poison, insecticides and a myriad of other unknown chemicals, Carlin reported.

The sale of synthetic marijuana is illegal in New York City. The drug is being sold under the names “spice,” “K-2” and “potpourri.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio said synthetic marijuana is a real problem.

“There are chemical compounds in it that could be very dangerous to a lot of individuals,” the mayor said. “It’s illegal in every form. It’s illegal to sell. It’s illegal to have. It’s illegal to use.”

De Blasio said if you know anyone possessing or selling synthetic marijuana to call police and report them.

No deaths of synthetic marijuana have been reported in New York City this month, but one person in Virginia and another in Texas recently died after using the substance.


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