Editorials

Synthetic marijuana deaths show foolishness of trusting drug traffickers

'Reefer Madness' was a scare tactic to keep kids off drugs

"Reefer Madness" was a 1937 propaganda film intended to scare youngsters away from marijuana. It reemerged in the 1970s as a cult film to be snickered at while taking a toke. It is now in the public domain.
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"Reefer Madness" was a 1937 propaganda film intended to scare youngsters away from marijuana. It reemerged in the 1970s as a cult film to be snickered at while taking a toke. It is now in the public domain.

We snicker today about the scare tactics of the old "Reefer Madness," a 1936 film mostly enjoyed by modern stoners while giggling at it over a bong and Doritos.

But Illinois just saw two people die and 89 sickened when they ingested a synthetic marijuana that had been laced with rat poison. The anti-coagulant in the poison left people with uncontrolled bleeding.

An undercover Chicago cop asked for "the good stuff" and paid $20 for the under-the-counter synthetic marijuana, often called K2 or Spice. It was poisoned. A convenience store owner and two workers were arrested, and the owner had a bag with $280,000 in cash.

Apparently it pays well to be a merchant of death.

Which brings up this question: Why would anyone trust the illicit drug market?

Rat poison in synthetic pot. Fentanyl in cocaine so it's more addictive. Unreliable purity of heroin.

Would anyone eat a sandwich they found on the street? Is ingesting a drug from an unknown source any different?

We get that these are rational thoughts as opposed to the illness of someone wanting to be somewhere between numb and dead. We also get that some tax-hungry state lawmaker will make this an argument for a "safe" supply of pot.

But maybe these deaths are a cautionary tale worth sharing. Maybe it's not a bad idea to be scared of drug traffickers.

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