Lake Charles PD issues public safety concern after 45 people taken to the hospital in connection with synthetic marijuana

Published 2:46 pm Tuesday, August 28, 2018

PRESS RELEASE — The Lake Charles Police Department has noticed a disturbing trend developing in the Lake area. In the past few days, the Police Department has handled 30 different incidents in which a person has ingested synthetic marijuana which has left the user in an unconscious state quickly after ingestion. Acadian Ambulance reported that they have transported approximately 45 people to local hospitals since Friday, August 24th.   Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso stated they have handled similar calls. Synthetic marijuana was made illegal on August 15th, 2010 and there are currently no means to obtain the substance legally. It comes packaged under various brand names such as “K2” and “Spice” however the new brands and possibly the ones causing the health concern are called “Bubblegum” and “Gumbo”.   It seems there are additional dangers to this already dangerous substance. This creates a health concern for our citizens as the majority of the cases handled by law enforcement eventually find themselves in our local hospitals.

The Combined Anti-drug Task Force (CAT) is aware of the concern and is attempting to understand what is making this substance even more dangerous and just where the substance is coming from.   As with all illegal narcotics, this should not be consumed by anyone.   The Lake Charles Police Department and the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office urges everyone to stay away from these products and to be alert if you know anyone who uses these products and call 911 immediately.